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Harry  East  Miller 




Galleria   Principe   di    Napoli 

First  floor  (Lift) 



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Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2008  with  funding  from 

IVIicrosoft  Corporation 

-  FIXED  PRICES  =iz=iz= 


mom  k  o, 




Every  variety  of  chiffons  and  tissues 
Handkerchiefs,  Hats,  Stockings,  Scarves 

TraveHing  rugs.  Valises,  Umbrellas, 
Kid  and  dogskin  gloves 


Undergarments  &  Ready-Made 
Clothing  for  Men,  Women  &  Children 

English,  French  and  German  Spoken 

The  largest  Emporium  of  novelties  in   Italy 




Patronised  by   Royalties  &  the  elite  of  English 
and    American    society 


Magnificent  southern  exposure 

Superb   rose   garden 

Bright  sunny  lounge  and  palm  garden 

Music  during  luncheon   and  dinner 

Evening  concerts 

[modern  sanitary  ARRANQEMENTsl 
Steam  heating  ^  Electric  light 


Proprietor:  Comm.  F.  SERENA 


*   CAPRI   ^' 

The  most  comfortable  and  fashionable 
first-class  Hotel  on  the  island.  Unrival- 
led position.  Full  South.  Surrounded 
by  large  gardens,  and  sunny  terraces. 
Every  modern  comfort.  Hot  water 
heating  throughout.  Electric  light. 

Splendid  view  over  Bay  of  Naples  and 

^(@X^r    E.   MOLARO   Proprietor   ll^-^^^S^^ 



Most  charming  situation  on  VIA  TRAGARA 

Forty  bed-rooms,  facing  full  South  with  sea  view 

Large  drawing  room,  Ladies  reception  room, 
writing  room,  bath  rooms. 

Extensive  gardens  &  terraces  with 
Southern  exposure 

Moderate  pension  rates  for  prolonged  May 



♦  cnpRi  ♦ 


Fine  position,  facing  FULL  SOUTH 
surrounded    by   palms   &   orange   trees, 

Numerous  reception  rooms  decorated  hy  celebrated  painters 

PENSION  RATES  FROM  Lire  8  per  day 

LUNCHEON „    3 

DINNER „    4 

ROOMS  (one  bed).    .    .        „    2    to  Lire  3 

The  interesting  collection  of  frescoes  and  paintings 
can  be  seen  by  visitors  daily  from  10  a.  m.  to  12,  and  after  3  p.  m. 

Propr.  Cav.  MnHFREDI  PnOnNO 



Hotel  Pension  "  yililifl  SPPSEli  „ 

(formerly  ELENn) 


Is  the  most  beautiful  full  South,  central  Hotel  on  the  island 
Surrounded  by  gardens 

Patronised    by    English,    Americans,    and     Scandinavians 


Electric  light  throughout,  bath   rooms,  and  every   modern   comfort 



All  modern  languages  spoken.  Terms  moderate 
Telegraphic  address:  SKANSEN  -  CAPRI 

■^    C.  DI  DOMIZIO  Propr. 




Large  sunny  gardens  —  Luncheons  served  al  fresco 

Steam  beaHng  k\)ro(sg\)oist  —  Up  (o  date  sanUaHon 
^atbrooms  a))tb  all   modern  conveniences 

Highly  recommended  —  Library  of  English  books 
English  and  Hmerican  newspapers  taken  in 

QRnriT    &   GHRQIULO  

^       -■=        '^=r^crG' 



Distant  three  minutes  from   Piazza  &  Funicular  Station 


Highly  spoken  of  —  Large  garden,  and  Terraces 

Electric  light  =  Modern  Sanitary  arrangements 

No  children  received 

Prices  from   Lire  6  up 

A  G.    WHITE,   Prop.  &  Manager 


Full  South  =  Modern  comfort  =  Large  gardens  &  terraces 

Special  Terms  for  families  or  for  prolonged  stay 
Prop.  N.  FHRHCE  — 

5    eAp-Ri    J 



First  class  Hotel,  450  feet  above  sea,  at  the  entrance 
of  the  town  of  Capri,  commanding  unrivalled 
panorama  of  the  island,  Vesuvius,  and  the  whole 
Bay  of  Maples. 

STEAM  HEATING,  baths,  electric  light.  Principal  papers  &  periodicals  taken 
—p    Prop.  F.  EIDENBENZ  (from  Zurich  Switz).    c~ — ^ 



Price  Lire  4,50  per  day 
A-coomodation  for  13  guests 



^^S \i    *    1/ 2^^ 



iiiii  fiisiii  f liiiii 

(3  zxxizi'u.'kes  fxoro.  IPiazza.) 

Splendid  panorama  and  sea  view 

»*:i.Ijei*t3  oool«:ii:xg:»  r»oia.«ioj:x  I^.  O 

F.  RUSSO   Proprietor 





XJniversity  o£  KTaples  -  KCealtli  Officer  irL  Oapri 

Speaks  Engtish,  Garman  and  French  with  fliiency 

Can  be  seen  daily  in  Capri  from  10  a.  m.  till  1  p.  m. 
at  Hotel  Quisisana  or  Quisisana  Pharmacy. 

Hours  of  consultation  at  Villa  Cuomo.  Anacapri.  From  2.30  p.  m.  till  4  p.  m. 

Dr  Cuomo  is  the  author  of  many  important  works 
among  which  may  be  mentioned: 

«  L'  Isola  di  Capri  »  as  a  health  resort  (Medal,  XI 
International  Congress  at  Rome,  1894). 

€  Climatologie  insulaire  et  particulierement  de  1'  ile 
de  Capri  ».  (First  prize  VII  International  Congress  of 
Hydrology,  Venice,  1905). 

Advantages  and  disadvantages  of  blood  letting  &  ves- 
sicatories.  Children'  s  convulsions.  Social  and  individual 
prophylaxis  of  acute  pneumonia.  Typoid  and  pseudo- 
typhoid.  Hygiene  of  the  altitudes  etc.  (First  prizes  at 
scientific  Conferences). 



Formerly  clinical  assistant  at  the  Manhattan  Eye 

and  Ear  Hospital 

Past  Graduate  Medical  School  and  Hospital 

of  Columbus,  New  York 

NOW  RESIDENT  IN  CAPRI  -  Villa  Jenny,  Via  Tragara 
OFFICE  HOURS.   11-30  a.  m.  to  12-30  p.  m.  or  by  appointment 


(opposite  Hotel  Pagano) 

I  I 


Patronised  liy  Prince  Leopold  Hohenzollern,  Grand  Duke  of  Hesse 
and  Prince  Constantinovitcli  of  Russia 

Prescriptions  carefully  prepared 

Italian  &  foreign   Patent  Medicines 

Mineral  waters 

Burroughs  &  Welcome  tabloids 
Pertumeiy  &  Toilet  articles 

TJrgeia-fc  ISTigli-t  service^  I^alazzo  JFerraro 

Many  years  'Professor  of  the  bondon  Academy  of  Music 

JF»i^*c5orxa  looser 

Successful  Piano  "Recitals  in  bondon,  St.  3'aa2es  j^ail  5  Italy 
Composer  of  Pieces  for  Piano,  Songs,  Chamber  5  Orchestral  music 

ADRESS:  Hotel  Quislsana,  or  Studio  dl  Musica,  Via  Matromania,  I 


foreigners,  (jj\)0  (jj)s\)  to  acquire  i\)e  Italian  language 
m  a  sbort  Hme,  sbouJd  apply  to, 

Cobo  undertakes  to  enable  t^em  to  spea^  Utalian  ^ery 
quickly  by  means  of  an  easy  and  sim'^le  metbod, 
ODJtbout  being  obliged  to  fill  tbeir  beads  (oitb  irritating 
rules  and  grammar. 

Studio  Carlo  pj  QjuSeppe 

^%r±&L  I'lt^e^orlo,    a^^e^^r    Hotel   I^ozsr&.± 

PecoraH\)e  ®  ®" 
®  ®  ®  ®  (DorHs 

®  PortraKs  ® 
Lessons  ®  ®  ® 
®  ®  in  painHng 


Visitors  are  cordially 
invited  to  visit  the 



Via  Tragara,  opposite  Hotel  Quisisana 

Mr.  Cerio'  S  pictures  are  on  exhibition  Only 
in  his  Studio,  which  can  be  visited  daily  from 
10  a.  m.  to  12-30  and  from  1-30  to  6-30  p.  m. 

Mr.  Cerio  speaks  Enghsh,  French,  German  and  Italian 


In  the  Piazza  at  foot  of  Church  steps 

/Vlarine  subjects  —  Views  of  Venice 
Landscapes  of  Capri 

Visitors  are  cordially  invited  to  visit  Mr.  Hay's  Studio  and  Exhibition 

e.  f)H)VI)V10]V[D  )VIHSO)V 

(American  painter,  formerly  of  Florence) 

Ras  pictures  on  exhibition  daily 
from  10  a*  m*f  to  12  ^  from  2  to  4  p»  m* 

At  the. Villa  Bella  Vista,  No.  7,  Main  Road,  Anacapri 

Cappi  International  Art  ExMMtion 

— K///a  Sinibaldi  —  Via  Tragara  -=- 

Open  from  9  a.  m.  to  6  p.   m. 

Portraits  =  M:arine  subjects 

A  limited  number  of  pupils  taken 

♦    Capri  Sculptor   ♦ 

Italo  Campagtioli  (from  )VIii*atidola ,  JModena). 
Student  of  the  Hcademy  of  Bologna^  and  pupil 
of  Senator  6.  JVIonteverde  of  Rome*  M^niber  and 
honorary  Hssociate  of  the  Hcademy  of  Bologna. 

Signor  Campagnoli  has  been  awarded  numerous 
prizes,  and  received  honorable  mention  at  Exhibitions 
held  at  Munich,  Budapest,  Venice,  Curin,  JVLilan, 
Rome  etc. 

executes  portrait-busts  from  life  in  bronze, 
marble  and  terra-cotta— Lessons  in  modelling. 

Studio:  Tia  Cragara  (near  Rotcl  Qutstsana) 

Sculpture    8i   bronzes 

^eniammo    ^oppo 

Qia  Tragara  —  Capri 
PeprodacHorv  of  V)orJ^S  o/^rt 

,rv,^->f{jv-^    Art  Silver  Shop     <rv^%^.v. 

Fixed  Frices    

Choice  and  varied  selection  of  buckles,  belts,  purses,  caskets, 
vases,  spoons,  jardiniers,  buttons,  bonbon  boxs  etc  etc. 


Special  commissions  executed  to  order  at  moderate  prices 

Via    Principe,    H.«   13-14   (opposite  Jiotel    Quisisana) 

E) :(  ^H7^- 

Anglo-Saxon  Company 

opposite  iiotel   G^VLlsisaxia. 

island  of  Qapri  — CnglisI)  8{  ^mencan  Qrocery 
Photographic  Department  Kodak  materials 

^rOsHc  pl)otograpl)S  and  post  cards 
Household  requisites  Toilet  articles 

^  Capn  IReal  Estate  ©fRce  * 

PIETRO  SCOPPn- Villa  Scoppa 
3BuilMn0  sites  ant)  bouse  propetti^  ==: 

lFurnlsbe5  ant)  unturntsbeb,  JBou^bt  d  Solb 
:  /iDoberate  commtsston 

MICHELE  GEROOTTO  (OiGheiuccioj  &  SONS 



ProDipl  attention  to  bnsiness  k  oioderate  ekrges 

Daily  service  to  Naples  for  execution  of  orders 

Checks  cashed,  and  money  changed  at  comot  rate  of  exchange 

Patronised  by  the  principal  English 
and  American  residents  &  visitors  in  Capri 

1/ -^ 


©ommissloners  and  Shipping  oMgQnis 

OtaLSit;oim 'lioxisio    t^rokors 

Special  daily  service  between  Capri 

and  Naples  for  the  execution  of  commissions, 

&  transport  of  baggage 

Ooi:i:xj3loi:o  stook  of  j>i?0^%ri{sioi:as 

Cafe  Restaurant  "Gaudeamus,, 

CAPRI,   opposite  Post  Office 

® — 

Pinners     : :     : :     Luncbeons  : :     Late  suppers 

: :     : :  Cbo'ce  Capn  and  otb^^  Utalian  Comes  : : 

ErLglisli  G-roceries 
QernDan  beer  VbiS^Jes       : :      ^Jrandies  etc. 

*  Au    Bon    Marche  * 

_ _.0^=iO« 

near  Quisisana  Hotel 

Original  manufactory  of  silks  and  Sorrento  wood 

Large  s('lection  of  silk  materials,  blouses,  stockings, 
scarfs,  foulards,  and  embroderies 

OA.I»I«I     -   Corso  Tiberlo,  1  —   OiVI»I«I 

Boot  and  Shoe  Maker 

Light,  strong,  durable— Boots  and  shoes  all  hand  made 

American  model  a  speciality 

Old  6stabl)$bed  pansian  House 



Union  des   Fabriqaes  = 

Via  S.  Carlo  -   )S|APL)ES   -  "^ia  S.  Brigida 

Evening  dress  materials  *  #  * 

Ilk  Ilk  fk  ^ 

Silks,   Woolen  goods 

Every  variety  of  chiffons*  ^ 

i9t*»^^^^^^  and  tissues 

Handkerchiefs,  Hats  ^  ^  <i  ^  ^ 

«  ip^  *  *  «  « 

Stockings,  Scarves 

Travelling  rugs,  valises,  umbrellas  *  ^ 
^  i9t  »  ^  <»  ^  kid  and  dogskin  gloves 
Costumes,  undergarments,  &  ready-made 
*    clothing  for  men,  women  &  children    * 

Cngl'jsbt  yrencb  and   Qerrpan  spoken  ;:  ::   ;; 
Tbg  largest  6mpor)un7  of  no^elHes  in  D^aly 



/^}U^iza/izr    ///^ 



(barrister -AT-  law) 




J  •    •  •  •      • 

>••••■    • 

«  ••  •  •   •  • 

•  •  ••   <    « »  ^ 

,  •  ,  1 

:    : :.  ; ': 

:•:  :.: : 
•••  ••  •  • 

« •  •  ••  • 


59   &  60    PIAZZA    DEI  MARTIRI. 



All  rights  reserved. 

*ilf  I  Off 

Veiled  head  of  Tiberius,  found  in  Capri.  (British   iVIuseum). 


Addison  ,  Joseph  ;  "  Remarks  on  some  parts  of  Italy 

1701,  1702,  1703  ". 
Alvino,  F.  ;  "  Due  giorni  a  Capri  ".  Napoli,  1838. 
Andersen,  Hans.;  "Improvisator  ".  1834. 
AuRELius,  Marcus. 
Bellini  ;  "  Alcuni  appunti  pella   Geologia  dell'  Isola  di 

Capri  ". 

Breislak  ;  "  Tipografia  fisica  della  Campania  ".  1798. 
Brooks,  Ellingham  ;  Sonnet. 

Canale,  a.  ;  "  Storia  dell'Isola  di  Capri  \  Napoli,  1887. 
Capaccio;  "  Historiae  Neapolitanae  ".  1607. 
Cerio,  I.  &  Bellini,  R.  ;  *"  Flora  dell'  Isola  di  Capri  ". 

Napoli,  1890. 
Chevalley  di  Rivaz.  ;  "  Voyage  de  Naples  a   Capri  et 

a  Paestum  \  Naples,  1846. 
Church  ,  Sir  Richard  ;  "  Sir  Richard  Church  in    Italy 

and  Greece  \ 
CoLLETTA,  F. ;  "  Storia  del  Reame  di  Napoli  dal  1734 

al  1825  \  Firenze,  1838. 



Consular  Reports;  South  Italy,  1902;  No.  3070  &  1903 

No.  3249. 
Costa  ;  "  Statistica   fisica   ed  economica    dell'  Isola    di 

Capri  ". 
Cuomo,  Dr.  Vincenzo  ;  "  L' Isola  di  Capri  ". 
D'Aloe,  Stanislaus;  "Naples,  ses  Monuments  et  ses 

curiosites  ".  Naples,  1847. 
Dion  Cassius. 
Di  Lorenzo  ;  "  Osservazioni  Geol.  sull'Appennino  della 

Basilicata  Meridion.  ". 
Di  Stefano  ;  "  Osservazioni  sulla  Geol.  del  Monte  Bul- 

gheria  in  Prov.  di  Salerno  ''. 
Douglass,  Norman  ;  "  Blue  Grotto,  and  its  Literature  ''. 

London,  1904. 
Dumas,  Alexander. 
Feola  ,  G.  ;  "  Rapporto  sullo   stato  attuale  dei   ruderi 

Augusto-Tiberiani  nella  isola  di  Capri  ".  Pubblicato 

ed  annotato  dal  Dr.  ignazio  Cerio. 
"  Field  "  ;  "  Quail  shooting  and  netting  in  Capri  ".  (Nov. 

14,  1903). 
"  Gentlewoman  "  ;   "  Festival   of  San  Costanzo  —  an 

island  carnival  ",  (Oct.  24,  1903). 
GiANNETTASio,  N.  P.;  "  Autumni  Surrentini  ",  Nap.  1698. 
Gibbon;  "  Rise  and  fall  of  the  Roman  Empire  ". 
Gould-Baring;  "Tragedy  of  the  Caesars  \ 
Gregorovius  ;   "  Die    Insel  Capri.   Idylle   vom  Mittel- 

meer  ". 
GuNTHER ,  R.  T. ;  "  Earth-movements   in   the   Bay    of 

Naples  ". 
Hadrava;  Letters.  Napoli,  1793. 




Karsten;  "  Zur  Geologie  der  Insel  Capri  \ 

Kopisch;  "  Entdeckung  der  Blauen  Grotte  ". 

Lanciani,  Prof.  ;  "  Ruins   and   excavations  of   Ancient 
Rome  \ 
Idem  ;  "  The  Destruction  of  Ancient  Rome  \ 

Lamarque,  General  ;  Extract  from  Report  to  King  of 
Naples ,  in  regard  to  the  capture  of  Capri  by  the 
French  in  1808. 

Lowe,  Hudson;  Letter  to  General  Lamarque. 

Mackowen,  Col.  ;  "  Capri  \ 

Mangoni,  R.  ;  "  Ricerche  Topografiche  ed  archeologiche 
suirisola  di  Capri  \  Napoli,  1834. 
Idem  ;    "  Ricerche  Storiche  suH'isola  di  Capri  \  Na- 
poli, 1834. 

Martorelli,  G.  ;  "  De  regia  theca  calamaria  "  Milano, 

Martorana  ,  p.  ;  "  Notizie  biografiche  e  bibliografiche 
degli  scrittori  del  dialetto  Napolitano  ".  Napoli,  1874. 

Melloni  ;  ""  Sulla  luce  azzurra  che  illumina  la  Grotta 
di  Capri  ". 

Mendelssohn;  Letter  to  his  sisters,  May  28,  1831. 

Merivale,  Dean  ;  **  History  of  the  Romans  ". 

MiDDLETON ;  "  Remains  of  Ancient  Rome  ". 

Montorio,  Serafino  ;  '  Zodiaco  di  Maria  Santissima  \ 
Napoli,  1715. 

Oppenheim  ;  "  Beitrage  zur  Geologie   der  Insel  Capri, 
und  der  Naltinsel  Sorrens  ". 


Panza;  "  Istoria  dell'antica  repubblica  di  Amalfi  ".  Na- 
poli, 1724. 


Parrino  ,    D.   A. ;    "  Nuova  Guida  dei  forestieri  delle 

isole  Ischia,  Capri  ". 
Pellicia.  a.  a.  ;  "  Ricerche  istoriche  filosofiche  sull'an- 

tico  stato  del  ramo  degli  Appennini,  che  termina  di 

rincontro  Tlsola  di  Capri  ". 

Pliny,  the  Elder. 
Pliny,  the  Younger. 
"  PoLiORAMA    PiTTOREsco  "  ;  "  Angelo    Ferraro   detto  il 

Riccio  "1841. 
Poole-Lane;  "  Barbary  Corsairs". 
PoMPONius  Mela. 
PuGGARD ;  "  Description  geologique  de  la  Peninsule  de 

Sorrento  \ 
PuLLEN,  Revd.  H.  W.  ;  "  Handbook  of  Ancient  Roman 

Marbles  ". 
Quattromani  ;  "  Album  Scientifico  Artistico-Letterario  ". 
RoMANELLi ;    "  Isola    di    Capri.  Manoscritti  inediti.   Del 

Conte  della  Torre  Rezzonico,  del  Professore  Breis- 

lak,  e  del  Generale  Pommereul  ".  Napoli,  1816. 
RuFFO,  Marquis;  "  Sulla  Grotta  azzurra  di  Capri  ". 
Schoener,  Dr.  R.  ;  "  Capri  "  Leipzig,  1892. 
ScuLTZE,  Dr.  ;  "  Ein  geographischer  und  antiquarischer 

Streifzug  durch  Capri  \  Berlin  1886. 
Secondo,  G.  M.  ;  "  Relazione  storica  dell'  antichita  ro- 

vine  e  residue  di  Capri  ".  Napoli,  1 

Sextus  Aurelius. 
SiSMONDi;  "Italian  Republics". 
SiLius  Italicus. 



Stamer  ;  "  Dolce  Napoli  ". 


Steinman  ;  "  Sull'eta  del  Calcare  Apenninico  di  Capri  ". 




Symonds,  John  Addington  ;  "Sketches  in  Italy  \ 

Tarver  ;  "  Tiberius  the  Tyrant ". 

Tacitus  ;  **  Annals  ". 

"  Times  "  ;  "  Quail   shooting  and  netting  in  Capri  \ 
(Nov.  14,  1903). 



Walther  ;  "  I  vulcani  sottortiarini  del  Golfo  di  Napoli  ". 

Walters,  Allan.  ;  ""  A  Lotos  Eater  in  Capri  ". 

Weichardt;  ""  Tiberius'  Villa,  and  other  Roman  Buil- 
dings on  the  isle  of  Capri  \  Translated  by  Harry 





Latitude  and  longitude  —  Distances  from  Naples  &c  — 
Area,  and  acreage  under  cultivation  —  Form,  fanciful 
comparisons  —  Altitudes  —  Water  supply  —  Population. 
Rate  of  mortality  —  Production  of  wine  —  Electrical  sta- 
tion, Anacapri. 



Climate  and  weather  distinguished  —  Temperature, 
humidity,  pressure  of  atmosphere  —  Climate  warm  and 
dry  —  Rapid  drainage  —  Prevailing  winds  ,  their  cha- 
racteristics —  Rainfall  —  Mean  annual  temperature  — 
Bright  sunshine. 



Classical  Capri. 

Virgil  mentions  Capri  —  Pomponius  Mela,  and  Stra- 
bo  —  References  of  Ovid,  Seneca,  and  Pliny  the  Elder  — 
Juvenal,  Statius,  Claudian  ,  and  Sidonius  —  Plutarch  — 
The  younger  Pliny  —  Tacitus  —  Suetonius  —  Marcus  Au- 
relius  —  Ptolemy  and  Solinus  —  Inscriptions  —  Blaesus, 
the  Capri  poet. 



Enumeration  of  chief  authorities  —  Geological  for- 
mation —  Inclination  of  stratification  —  Composition  of 
limestone  of  Capri  —  Age  of  geological  formation  — 
Oppenheim  quoted  —  Upheavals  of  earth's  crust  —  Gla- 
ciers —  Traces  of  primitive  man  —  Historic  period  — 
Line  of  erosion  —  Giinther  quoted  —  Tiberian  land  lev- 
el —  Island  did  not  rise  horizontally  —  Submerged  ma- 
sonry —  Inclination  of  sewer  at  Grande  Marina  —  Mea- 
surements of  Blue  Grotto  —  Two  openings,  and  pheno- 
menon explained  —  Interior  corridor  of  Blue  Grotto  — 
Blue  Grotto  known  to  Romans  —  Ruffo's  theory  of 
blue  light. 



Capri  under  Augustus. 

His  first  visit  —  Legend  of  oak  tree  —  Wealthy  Ro- 
mans favour  island  homes  —  Palaces  to  be  attributed 
to  Augustus,  not  Tiberius  —  Quotation  of  Tacitus  exam- 
ined —  Last  visit  of  Augustus  —  His  boyish  amuse- 
ments —  Death  of  Augustus  —  His  diversions  —  Baring- 
Gould's  account  of  Emperor's  last  hours. 


Capri  under  Tiberius. 

His  reasons  for  leaving  Rome — His  reasons  for  choos- 
ing Capri  —  His  appearance  ,  habits  ,  and  tastes  —  His 
companions  in  Capri  —  His  death  —  His  character,  and 
how  it  was  affected  by  the  disappointments  of  his  life — 
Our  reasons  for  declining  to  accept  the  estimate  of  the 
character  of  Tiberius ,  as  portrayed  by  Suetonius  and 
Tacitus  —  Conclusions  arrived  at  from  a  study  of  the 
busts,  cameos,  and  reliefs  of  Tiberius. 

Capri  in  the  Middle  Ages,  and  more  recent  times. 

Caligula  and  Commodus  —  Capri  joined  to  Sorrento : 
afterwards  to  Naples  —  Saracen  raid,  812  —  Paestum, 
a  pirate  stronghold  —  Capri  transferred  to  Amalfi  —  Im- 


portance  of  Amalfi — Norman  conquest  of  South  Italy — 
Sicilian  Vespers  —  Capri  captured  by  Sicilian  fleet  —  Suc- 
cessive exemptions  of  island  from  taxes  —  Garrison  mu- 
tinies—  Fidelity  of  island  to  Alphonso  —  Further  exemp- 
tions in  1491 — Two  communes  separated  —  Ravages 
of  Keyrd-ed-din  —  Short  account  of  Barbary  Corsair, 
Keyrd-ed-din  —  Castle  of  Barbarossa  destroyed  — 
Plague,  1656— Military  Governor  appointed — First  exca- 
vation, Villa  Jovis  —  Ferdinand  visits  island  —  Disputes 
between  Capri  and  Anacapri  —  Seminary  for  priests  — 
Bishopric  .abolished,  1818— Vines  destroyed  by  disease. 


Construction  of  Roman  Masonry  and  Pavements. 

Method  of  building  walls ,  "  opus  quadratum  "  and 
"  concrete  "  —  Observations  of  Middleton  on  "  opus 
quadratum  "  —  Concrete  walls,  "  faced  "  or  "  unfaced  " 
Remarks  of  Lanciani  thereon  —  Pliny  on  mosaic  pave- 
ments—Vitruvius— Middleton  on  various  Roman  pave- 


Ancient  marbles  found  in  Capri. 

Pullen's  definition  of  marbles  — His  enumeration  of 
fifteen  groups  —  Colouring  and  place  of  origin  —  List 
of  marbles  actually  found  in  Capri  —  Important  collec- 
tions of  marbles  mentioned  by  Lanciani. 



Removal,  and  destruction  of  Ancient  Marbles. 

Discrepancy  between  number  of  Palaces  in  Capri,  and 
result  of  excavations  —  Weichardt  on  removal  of  Roman 
relics  —  Quotation  from  Lanciani  —  Christian  churches 
enriched  with  pagan  treasures  —  Consumption  of  mar- 
bles in  lime-kilns. 


Site  of  old  City  —  Contrada  Torre. 


Site  of  Greek  city  of  Capreoe ,  its  present  bounda- 
ries —  Cisterns,  mosaics,  pavements  &c,  scattered  over 
entire  district.  —  Greek  inscription  —  Description  of  sar- 
cophagus and  contents,  found  here. 


Greek  Stairway  to  Anacapri. 

Stairway  partially  destroyed  in  making  new  road  — 
Number  of  steps  existing  in  time  of  Hadrava  and  Man- 
goni  —  Captain  Church  leads  his  horse  up  steps — French 
fort  at  Capodimonte. 


Cyclopean  Wall. 

Extension  of  wall  —  Construction  of  wall  —  Probably 
of  Phoenician  construction. 


Villa  Jovis. 

Most  important  remains  on  island  —  Reference  to  Al- 
vino's  drawing  and  plan  —  Weichardt  compares  these 
remains  to  Palace  of  Augustus  at  Rome  —  Quotation 
from  Suetonius — Identity  of  Villa  Jovis  proved — Weich- 
ardt describes  construction  of  Imperial  Palace  —  De- 
tailed description  of  the  ruins  —  Remains  of  bath-room — 
"  Peristyle  "  —  "  Triclinium  "  —  Gardens — Sloping  cor- 
ridor —  First  excavation  of  Villa  Jovis  —  Second  exca- 
vation —  Discovery  of  two  "  puteals  "  —  Discovery  of 
bas-reliefs,  now  in  Naples  Museum  —  Precious  stones  , 
now  in  mitre  of  San  Costanzo. 

The  Faro. 

Compared  with  Pharos  of  Alexandria  —  Grain  fleets 
described  by  Merivale  —  Quotations  from  Seneca  and 
Suetonius  —  Legend  of  its  destruction  by  earthquake — 
Discovery  of  lead  pipes  —  Discovery  of  bas-relief  — 
Measurements  of  tower  —  Discoveries  of  Hadrava. 



Palazzo  a  Mare. 

Temple  of  Isis  —  Augustus  ,  the  probable  builder  — 
Weichardt's  estimate  of  its  extent  —  Excavations  of  Ha- 
drava  —  Altar  of  Cybele  —  Hamilton  collection  —  Other 
results  of  Hadrava's  excavations  —  Cisterns,  a  curious 
deposit  —  Quotations  from  Pliny  and  Merivale  on  mur- 
rhine  vases. 


Palace  at  Punta  Tragara. 

Hadrava  and  Mangoni  agree,  that  an  Imperial  Palace 
stood  here  —  Weichardt  identifies  this  spot  by  reference 
to  Suetonius  —  Quotation  from  Suetonius  —  Discovery 
of  Roman  pavement. 


Palace  at  Unghia  Marina. 

To  be  attributed  to  Augustus  —  Feola  argues  from 
words  stamped  on  bricks  —  This  view  controverted  — 
Middleton  quoted,  as  to  brick  stamps. 



Villa,  or  Thermae  of  Castiglione. 

First  excavation  by  Hadrava  —  Weichardt's  opinion  — 
Discoveries  of  Hadrava,  marble  vase  &c  —  Further  dis- 
coveries by  Hadrava  —  Hadrava's  account  of  Festa  for 
King  of  Naples  —  Governor  of  Capri  continues  excava- 
tions—  Further  discoveries  in  1823  and  1857. 

Temple  of  San  Michele. 

Position  of  mountain  —  Description  of  Hadrava  — 
Feola'  s  description  of  ruins  and  road  in  1830  —  Weich- 
ardt's surmises  as  to  purpose  of  road  —  Conclusion  of 
Weichardt,  that  this  was  site  of  Temple. 


Theory  that  they  supported  a  road  —  Hadrava  and 
Romanelli  consider  them  "  Sellarie  "  of  Tiberius  —  Dis- 
covery of  "  spintrie  "  —  Remarks  by  Addison  —  Cis- 
terns, probably  beneath  roadway. 

XV  TUn    BOOK    OF    CAPRI 


Mulo,  and  Scoglio  della  Sirena. 

Harbour  on  South  side  —  Masses  of  masonry  seen 
by  Feola  —  Weichardt  observes  remains  of  baths  &c  — 
Scogh'o  della  Sirena,  the  fabled  abode  of  the  Sirens. 


Ancient  steps  leading  to  top  —  Feola,  Weichardt,  and 
others  identify  it  as  the  "  Island  of  Sloth  ^  mention- 
ed by  Suetonius  —  Passage  from  Suetonius  relating 



Carthusian  monastery  —  Erected  on  Roman  founda- 
tions —  Site  of  imperial  residence  —  Weichardt  places 
here  an  Augustan  Palace  — Roman  cisterns  — Monastery 
founded  by  Arcucci ,—  Hadrava's  description  of  monas- 
tery in  1790. 



Palazzo  Inglese. 

Largest  building  on  island  —  Built  by  Thorold ,  an 
English  merchant  —  Ferdinand  IV  stays  there  —  Col. 
Lowe  makes  it  his  headquarters  —  Stone  with  Greek 
inscription  used  as  threshold. 


Roman  Remains  at  Anacapri. 

Feola  places  five  Imperial  Palaces  at  Anacapri  —  Pro- 
bably two  only  were  Palaces  —  Excavations  at  Capo  di 
Monte  —  Discovery  by  Feola  of  huge  vaults  at  il  Pozzo  — 
Discoveries  of  Feola  at  Monticello  —  Damecuta  tlje  most 
important  —  Derivation  of  name  —  Area  occupied  by 
Palace  —  Discoveries  mentioned  by  Mangoni  —  More 
recent  discoveries  mentioned  by  Dr,  Cerio. 


Campo  Pisco. 

Bought  by  Bishop  Gallo  —  Meaning  of  name  —  Dis- 
scoveries  of  Hadrava  —  Mangoni  thinks  some  public 
building  stood  here. 


Porto  Tragara. 

Safe  anchorage  for  Roman  galleys  —  Traces  of 
masonry  —  Flight  of  steps  below  sea-level  —  Discovery 
of  leaden  pipes — Mooring  rings. 


Trugiio  and  Sopra-fontana. 

Excavations  in  1827  discover  pavements  and  statues  — 
Mangoni  mentions  four  cisterns  —  Dr.  Schoener  des- 
cribes cisterns,  and  considers  them  reservoirs  of  the  old 

Villa  at  Aiano. 

Site  of  Roman  Villa  according  to  Hadrava  and  Man- 
goni —  Discoveries  mentioned  by  Mangoni  —  Discovery 
in  the  vicinity  of  eight  marble  columns  —  Four  removed 
to  Caserta  —  Other  four  at  Church  of  San  Costanzo. 



Blue  Grotto. 

Measurements  —  Mackowen,  Weichardt,  and  Schoener 
on  change  of  sea-level  —  Present  opening  used  for  ven- 
tilation— Grotto  used  in  ancient  times  —  Flight  of  steps 

Interior  corridor ,  views  of  Mangoni ,  Mackowen  ,  and 
Schoener  —  Discovery  of  Roman  Villa  above  Grotto  in 
1875  —  Who  really  rediscovered  the  Grotto  ?  —  Opinions 
of  Norman  Douglass  —  Reference  by  Capaccio  and  Par- 
rino — Negative  evidence  —  Extract  from  archives  of 
Naples  —  Conclusion,  Kopisch  rediscoverer  —  Early 
authorities  on  Grotto  —  Quotations  from  Alexander 
Dumas,  and  Hans  Andersen. 

Cave  of  Mithras. 

Situation  ,  and  mean5  of  approach  —  Derivation  of 
name  "  Matromania  "—  Feola  and  others  conclude  that  it 
was  dedicated  to  Mithras  —  Discovery  and  description 
of  bas-relief  —  Altar  referred  to  by  Hadrava  —  Disco- 
very of  terra-cotta  statuette  —  Feola's  description  of  the 
Temple— Schoener  attributes  it  to  early  Imperial  times — 
Weichardt's  remarks  —  Dr.  Cerio  asserts  that  the  vault 
and  walls  were  adorned  with  glass — Dr.  Roane  examines 
the  theory  that  the  rays  of  the  rising  sun  fell  on  statue 
of  Mithras  — Weichardt  admits  Mithraic  use  —  Summary 
of  writer. 


"  Grotta  arsenale.  " 

Description  and  measurements  of  Feola  —  Used  to 
repair  ships  &c  —  Discoveries  of  Dr.  Cerio  in  1879  — 
Theory  of  Dr.  Cerio,  that  Grotto  was  used  as  a  temple — 
Weichardt  considers  it  a  shipwright's  yard  —  Mangoni 
mentions  holes  for  beams. 


Grotto  of  Castiglione. 

Largest  Grotto  —  Place  of  refuge  from  Saracens  — 
Ascent  of  engineer  Santo  —  Description  by  Schoener. 


"  Grotte  dell'Arco  e  Felce.   ' 

Remarks  of  Feola  and  Breislak  on  peculiar  sub- 
stance adhering  to  limestone — Excavation  and  disco- 
veries of  Dr.  Cerio  in  Grotta  delle  Felce  in  1882. 


"  Grotta  Oscura  "  —  A  Lost  Grotto. 

Well  known  till  1808  —  Identified  by  Norman  Doug- 
lass —  Largest  of  the  Grottos ,  and  chief  attraction  to 
visitors  —  Mentioned  by  Giannettasio  and  Serafino  Mar- 
torio —  Description  by  Joseph  Addison  —  Excerpt  from 
unpublished  MS.  of  Feola  —  Referred  to  by  Mangoni. 


Church  of  San  Costanzo. 

Situated  near  old  Greek  town  —  Bishopric  created — 
Stood  on  pagan  foundations  —  Byzantine  wall  painting — 
Eight  marble  columns  of  Roman  period  —  Architectural 
description  of  Schoener. 

Church  of  San  Stefano. 

Dates  from  1683  —Pavement  in  Presbytery  made  of 
marbles  from  Villa  Jovis  —  Other  Roman  pavement  — 
Relics  —  Monument  of  Arcucci  —  Silver  figure  of  San 
Costanzo  —  Precious  stones  found  at  Villa  Jovis. 



Convent  of  Santa  Teresa  at  Capri. 

Founded  by  Serafina  di  Dio —  Other  monasteries  esta- 
blished by  her—  High  altar  adorned  with  marbles  from 
Villa  Jovis  —  Painting  of  St.  Nicholas  of  Bari. 


Church  of  San  Michele  at  Anacapri. 

Majolica  pavement  of  1769  —  High  altar  adorned  with 
large  piece  of  lapislazuli. 


English  and  French  occupation  of  Capri. 

Ferdinand  IV.  deposed  ,  two  Sicilies  separated  —  Sir 
Sydney  Smith  captures  island — Col.  Lowe  made  Mili- 
tary Governor  — Lowe  strengthens  fortifications  —  Capt. 
Church,  engineer  officer  at  Anacapri — Two  unsuccessful 
attempts  by  French  to  take  Capri  —  Murai  King  of 
Naples — French  fleet  in  three  divisions  attacks  island — 
Real  attack  on  Anacapri  —  Feints  on  Grande  and  Pic- 
cola  Marinas  —  Landing  effected  at  Orico  —  English 
camp  rushed,  and  Anacapri  stairs  occupied  —  Retreat  of 
Church  down  cliffs  of  Monte  Solaro  —  Lowe  holds  out 
in  lower  town  —  Reappearance  of  Anglo-Sicilian  fleet- 
Fleet  compelled  by  bad  weather  to  retire  —  French  force 
revictualled  —  Lamarque  presses  siege  of  town  —  Lowe 
surrenders  —  English  fleet  returns  too  late  —  French 
strengthen  island  —  Letter  from  Lowe  to  Lamarque  — 
Extract  from  Report  of  Lamarque  to  King  of  Naples. 



Unknown  Qrottos,  and  Rock-climbers. 

General  description  of  White  Grotto  —  Exploration  of 
Ewers  and  party  in  1902 — Difficult  ascent  —  Dimen- 
sions of  Grotto — Imaginative  description  of  interior  — 
Ewers  explores  Grotto  di  S.  Maria    del  Soccorso. 

Quail  shooting,  and  netting. 

"  Bishop  of  Quails  "  —  Number  formerly  netted  — 
Large  profits  —  Ferdinand  IV.  visits  Capri  for  shooting- 
Description  of  quail  nets  —  Two  flights  yearly  —  Wind 
influences  their  arrival  — Blind  quail  as  decoys  —  Hand- 
net,  its  dangers — Poaching. 

Some  Capri  flowers,  and  where  they  grow. 

An  unscientific  chapter  —  Where  the  myrtle  blooms — 
Narcissus,  where  to  find  it  —  No  primroses  —  Haunt  of 
the  violet  —  Early  crocuses  —  Orchids  —  Asphodels  — 
Anemones  —  Rosemary  and  cistus. 



Festival  of  San  Costanzo  — an  island  Carnival. 

Original  verses  by  Ellingham  Brooks  —  Early  history 
of  San  Costanzo  —  Preparations  —  The  "  octave  "  — 
Description  of  the  Festa  —  Silver  figure  of  San  Costan- 
zo —  Superstitions  —  Festivities  at  night. 

Exploration  of  Blue  Grotto  by  Kopisch  and  Pagano. 

Legends  —  The  start  —  Pagano  swims  in  —  Tubs  of 
lighted  tar  —  Sketch  taken  —  Proprietor  of  Grotto  ap- 
pears, and  sees  the  Devil  —  Inner  passage  explored  in 
hope  of  treasure  —  Christening  of  Grotto. 

Capri  versus  Anacapri. 


The  conspicuous  part  that  the  h'ttle  island  of  Capri 
has  played  in  the  world's  history  is  out  of  all  proportion 
to  her  size,  which  is  a  mere  pin-prick  on  the  map  of  Eu- 
rope. The  stranger  to  Capri  is  wonder  struck  as  he  be- 
gins to  gather  labourously  thread  by  thread,  some  trace 
of  her  great  world-history.  This  rocky  islet,  which  is 
now  chiefly  known  to  the  traveller  by  its  Blue  Grotto, 
was  for  seven  years  the  cynosure  of  that  vast  Roman 
Empire,  which  has  had  no  rival,  except  it  be  England's 
Imperialism  of  today.  Nearly  a  thousand  years  of  slum- 
ber followed  the  too  fierce  light  that  had  focussed  on 
her  shores.  For  eight  centuries  her  wretched  and  half- 
starved  people  were  harried  by  fierce  Corsairs ,  when 
richer  booty  failed.  Then  came  the  brief  sway  of  French 
and  English,  productive  of  h'ttle  glory  to  either. 

Ten  years  of  life  spent  on  this  charmed  island  have 
not  exhausted ,  but  enhanced  her  fascinations  for  the 
writer,  and  where  the  field  of  search  is  limited,  and  the 
mind  active,  a  complete  exploration  of  all  sources  of 
information  regarding  Capri's  history  has  been  the 
inevitable  result.  1  lay  no  claim  to  originality  of  matter 


or  thought.  Mine  has  been  rather  the  work  of  the  honey 
bee,  who  explores  each  petal  in  search  of  treasured 
sweetness  for  the  common  hive  ;  often  too  the  plainest 
and  most  unprententious  blossom  renders  richest  har- 
vest of  garnered  wealth.  I  have  merely  collected,  from 
every  source  known  to  me,  facts  as  well  as  theories 
and  opinions  of  other  writers,  which  I  have  laid  before 
the  reader,  using  in  nearly  every  case  "  ipsissima  verba  ". 
I  have  endeavoured  to  act  the  part  of  a  just  and  upright 
judge,  who  marshalls  the  evidence  before  a  discerning 
jury  ,  with  ;  "  Gentlemen  ,  the  evidence  is  before  you  , 
consider  your  verdict  \  in  every  case  (except  perhaps 
in  the  Chapter  on  Tiberius),  I  have  avoided  dogmatism, 
and  have  appealed  rather  to  the  reader'  s  intelligent  res- 
ponsibility, by  leaving  the  final  decision  on  vexed  ques- 
tions to  his  own  good  judgment. 

"  The  Book  of  Capri  "  has  not  been  compiled  for 
the  specialist  on  Roman  remains  and  architecture,  but 
for  that  larger  class,  the  average  traveller,  who  neces- 
sarily possesses  little  exact  knowledge  on  these  points.  I 
have  therefore  added  chapters  on  '  The  Construction 
of  Roman  Masonry  and  Pavements  \  ''  Ancient  marbles 
found  in  Capri  ",  and  "  Removal  and  destruction  of  An- 
cient Marbles  ".  Those  who  desire  to  pursue  further 
these  studies  ca«  readily  do  so  by  obtaining  the  works 
of  high  authority,  referred  to  in  the  Bibliography. 

I  have  abstained  from  illustrating  the  book  with 
reproductions  of  such  hackneyed  subjects  as  the  Blue 
Grotto,  the  Arco  Naturale ,  fair  peasants  carrying  su- 
perhuman loads ,  or  sprightly  tarentella  dancers  in 
tawdry  finery :  those  whose  predilections  lie  in  this 
direction    can    easily    satisfy   their    taste  at  illustrated- 


card  shops.  It  is  hoped  that  the  photographs  here  re- 
produced will  be  found  of  cpnsiderable  interest.  The 
veiled  head  of  Tiberius  which  forms  the  frontispiece 
was  found  in  Capri,  and  was  bought  in  1873  from  the 
^ dealer  Castellani  by  the  British  Museum.  The  vow  to 
Mithras,  p.  223  which  was  found  in  the  Grotto  Mitroma- 
nia,  has  been  specially  photographed  for  this  work  by 
Messrs.  Sommer  and  Son  of  Naples.  Through  the  cour- 
tesy of  Mr.  A.  H.  Smith,  Assistant  Keeper  of  Greek  and 
Roman  Antiquities  at  the  British  Museum,  1  have  obtained 
two  excellent  photographs  of  the  altar  (or  base  of  can- 
delabrum) p.  127  a  128,  which  forms  part  of  the  Hamilton 
collection  in  the  British  Museum.  This  photograph  has 
never  been  published  before.  The  ground  plan  of  Villa 
Jovis  p.  139,  and  the  view  of  the  Faro  and  Villa  Jovis 
p.  140  as  they  appeared  in  1853,  have  by  the  kind  per- 
mission of  the  Dr.  1.  Cerio  been  photographed  from  his 
rare  volume  of  Alvino,  which  is  now  out  of  print. 

I  take  this  opportunity  of  expressing  my  thanks  to 
my  friend,  Mr.  T.  S.  Jerome ,  United  States  Consular 
Agent  at  Capri ,  for  the  ready  access  he  has  always 
granted  me  to  his  complete  and  well  chosen  library : 
indeed,  it  is  not  too  much  to  say,  that  without  the  aid 
of  his  copious  books  of  reference,  this  little  book  could 
not  have  been  undertaken  or  completed. 

The  monotony  of  a  "  one  man  show  "  has  provi- 
dentially been  avoided  by  the  kind  and  willing  help  of 
various  friends ,  who  have  acceded  to  my  request  to 
write  chapters  for  '  The  Book  of  Capri  "  on  subjects 
with  which  they  were  specially  conversant,  and  to  which 
my  absence  of  technical  knowledge  would  have  render- 
ed it  impossible  for   me  to  do  justice.     I  refer  to   the 


chapter  on  Geology ,  contributed  by  Dr.  I.  Cerio  ,  on 
which  much  care,  and  the  result  of  many  years  research 
has  been  faithfully  bestowed.  The  chapter  on  Climate 
has  been  written  by  Mr.  Silva  White  Secretary  to  the 
British  Association  who  has  treated  the  subject  in  a 
manner  so  light  and  informal  as  almost  to  conceal  his 
thorough  knowdedge  of  the  science  and  practice  of 
meteorology.  In  writing  this  chapter,  Mr.  White  has 
been  greatly  assisted  by  the  table  of  decennial  observa- 
tions and  other  information  contained  in  Dr.  Vincenzo 
Cuomo' s  valuable  book  "  L' isola  di  Capri  ".  The 
dainty  chapter  on  the  fragrant  treasures  of  mountain 
and  woodland  by  Mrs  Longworth  Knocker;  the  lively 
and  graphic  account  of  Kopisch'  s  adventurous  explora- 
tion of  the  Blue  Grotto  by  Mrs  Wolffsohn ;  the  erudite 
condensation  of  classic  lore  by  Mr  T.  S.  Jerome;  and 
the  fantastic  and  imaginative  periods  of  Dr.  Hans 
Heinz  Ewers ,  will  1  feel  sure  appeal  to  many  readers , 
who  will,  1  hope,  think  that  these  chapters  have  consider- 
ably added  to  the  value  of  this  work. 


The  island  of  Capri  lies  in  latitude  40.°  32'  N.  and 
longitude  14^  15'  E..  it  rises  like  an  alpine  rock  at  the 
extreme  south  of  the  Gulf  of  Naples,  overlooking,  to- 
wards the  East,  the  Sorrentine  peninsula;  to  the  North, 
Naples,  Vesuvius,  and  the  unbroken  line  of  cities  that 
stretch  from  Pozzuoli  to  Castellamare;  to  the  West,  Pro- 
cida,  Ischia,  and  lying  beyond  them,  in  the  glow  of  the 
setting  summer  sun,  the  far  distant  islands  ofVentotene 
and  Ponza  of  unhappy  memory. 

Capri  is  distant  from  Naples  19  miles  (Kil,  31),  from 
Ischia  (Monte  Solaro  to  Monte  Epomeo)  19  ^5  miles 
(Kil.  33),  from  Amalfi  19  ^  3  miles  (Kil.  32),  from  Sor- 
rento 9  miles  (Kil.  14,  500).  The  distance  from  Lo  Capo 
to  Campanella,  the  nearest  point  of  the  mainland,  is  3 
miles  (Kil.  5) :  this  channel  is  called  the  "  bocca  pic- 
cola  ". 

The  greatest  length  of  the  island,  from  Lo  Capo  to 
Punta  Carena  is  4  miles  (Kil.  6.  170),  the  greatest  breadth 
is  between  Punta  Tuoro  and  Gradelle  1  7^  miles  (Kil. 
2.  800) ;  the  distance  in  a  straight  line  from  the  Grande 
to  the  Piccola  Marina  is  ^5  miles  (Kil.  1.  375). 



The  area  of  the  entire  island  is  2560  acres  (Capri 
989,  Anacapri  1571).  Of  this  area  in  the  year  1900,  622 
acres  were  under  cultivation  in  the  Commune  of  Capri, 
and  1060  in  the  Commune  of  Anacapri.  (See  Consular 
Report  for  South  Italy,  N.^  2744). 

Jean  Paul  Richter  compares  the  form  of  Capri  to  a 
'Sphif'xva'nd 'Cregorovius  to  "  an  ancient  sarcophagus, 
whose -sides  were  adorned  with  snaky-haired  Furies  ". 
Others  have-  aHt)wed  their  fancy  to  persuade  them  that 
its  outline  resembles  the  boot  of  a  cavalier,  while  Mack- 
owen  finds  a  likeness  to  a  crocodile. 

The  highest  point  of  the  island  is  Monte  Solaro  1919 
feet  (585  met.)  next  comes  S.Maria  Cetrelle  1620  feet 
(494  met.).  Barbarossa  1334  feet  (407  met.),  above  sea- 
level.  The  Villa  Jovis  on  Tiberio  is  1114  feet  (340  met.). 
Castiglione  820  feet  (250  met.)  San  Michele  803  feet 
(245  met.),  the  Telegraph,  or  Semaphore  hill  852  feet 
(260  met.),  and  Damecuta  495  feet  (151  met.)  above 

The  water  supply  of  the  island  is  at  present  quite  in- 
sufficient ,  and  though  it  is  seldom  that  the  supply  of 
drinking  water  fails  entirely,  yet  every  summer,  building 
has  to  be  abandoned,  owing  to  lack  of  water. 

The  cultivation  of  flowers  and  vegetables  is  also 
rendered  difficult  and  expensive  owing  to  the  sparse  and 
unreliable  water  supply.  At  present  the  islanders  rely  al- 
most exclusively  on  cisterns ,  usually  built  under  their 
houses,  which  collect  the  rain  water.  One  of  the  great 
needs  of  Capri  is  a  liberal  and  unfailing  supply  of  water, 
(See  Consular  Report,  South  Italy,  1902,  N.o  3070).  In 
addition  to  the  system  of  cisterns  there  are  on  the  island 
three  natural  springs  called   in  Italian,  "  sorgente  "  or. 


"  fontane  ":  being  the  reservoirs  or  receptacles  in  which 
rtie  water,  after  percolating  through  the  soil,  is  collect- 
ed and  drawn  off.  Mangoni  mentions  five  springs,  but 
of  these  the  one  at  Lo  Capo  under  the  hill  of  S.  Maria 
Soccorso,  has  ceased  to  flow,  having  been  choked  by 
the  falling  in  of  rocks  and  soil :  the  other  spring  men- 
tioned by  Mangoni,  Marrocella,  is  simply  a  branch  or 
offshoot  of  the  spring  of  Aquaviva.  Three  springs  ac- 
cordingly still  exist,  one  on  the  South  side  of  the  island 
between  Monte  Solaro  and  Castiglione,  near  the  Piccola 
Marina:  this  spring,  is  said  to  yield  the  best  and  purest 
water.  The  spring  of  Aquaviva  is  to  be  found  where  the 
old  steps  (lately  repaii'ed),  leading  from  the  Piazza  to 
the  Grande  Marina  are  crossed  by  the  carriage-road. 
The  third  spring,  that  of  Truglio,  is  to  be  found  in  the 
Piazzetta  at  the  Grande  Marina.  In  addition  to  these 
natural  springs ,  various  reservoirs  (serbatoi)  exist  for 
the  collection  of  the  overflow  of  the  springs  of  Aqua- 
viva and  Marrocella,  and  are  thrown  open  to  the  inha- 
bitants only ,  in  times  of  great  scarcity  of  water :  the 
principal  one  lies  close  to  the  Strada  Nuova,  at  the  point 
where  the  steps  formerly  passed  under  the  carriage- 

In  considering  the  hydrographic  conditions  of  the 
island,  and  consequently  the  relative  purity  or  impurity 
of  the  water  furnished  by  these  springs,  it  is  necessary 
to  remark,  that ,  owing  to  the  short  distance  traversed 
by  the  water ,  (on  account  of  the  limited  area  of  the 
island),  the  water  is  only  partially  purified  by  filtration. 
In  June  1891,  a  careful  chemical  analysis  of  the  waters 
of  Aquaviva  and  Truglio  was  made  by  Professor  Tur- 
sini.  Director  of  the  Chemical  chair  of  the  Municipality 


of  Naples.  The  result  of  this  analysis  was  to  show  that, 
the  water  from  these  springs  was  very  strongly  impreg- 
nated with  lime ,  and  "  was  not  fit  for  drinking  pur- 
poses, and  could  not  be  rendered  so,  on  account  of  its 
impurities,  its  hardness,  and  brackish  taste  \  (L' Isola 
di  Capri.  Dr.  Cuomo,  p.  31). 

It  is  of  interest  to  observe  how  slowly  the  popula- 
tion of  the  island  has  increased  in  the  course  of  the 
last  five  or  six  hundred  years.  This  must  be  accounted 
for  in  early  times  by  the  constant  ravages  of  the  Sara- 
cens ,  who  killed  the  male  population  ,  and  carried  off 
the  women.  In  later  times  the  natural  increase  of  the 
population  has  been  checked  by  the  constant  flow  of 
emigration  to  South  America.  Mackowen  calculates  that 
in  1307  there  were  1500  souls  in  the  entire  island.  In 
the  time  of  Hadrava  (1792)  the  population  had  only 
risen  to  Capri  2200,  Anacapri  1300.  Mangoni  (1834) 
places  the  number  of  inhabitants  et  Capri  1980,  Anacapri 
1500.  The  census  of  1871  estimates  the  population  of 
Capri  at  2333;  and  that  of  Anacapri  at  1675.  In  1881 
the  population  of  Capri  was  2827,  and  that  of  Anacapri 
2021.  From  1881  to  Dec.  31,1892  there  was  an  in- 
crease of  629  souls  in  Capri,  and  223  in  Anacapri.  In 
1903,  "  according  to  statistics  furnished  by  the  Municipal 
authorities  of  the  communes  of  Capri  and  Anacapri,  the 
population  of  the  entire  island  amounted  to  6369  per- 
sons".  (See  Consular  Report,  South  Italy.  1903.  N.  3249). 

It  will  readily  be  conceded  that  the  healthfulness  of 
a  place  is  in  great  part  to  be  judged  by  the  average  du- 
ration of  life  of  the  inhabitants;  it  is  therefore  of  some 
importance  to  consider  the  death-rate  of  the  island  of 
Capri.    Again  availing  ourselves  of  the  Table  of  Mortal- 


ity,  compiled  by  Dr.  Cuomo,  (L'IsoIa  di  Capri  p.  78, 
79)  we  find  that,  during  the  period  extending  from  1878 
to  1892,  the  average  death-rate  for  the  whole  island  was, 
17.5  per  1000  inhabitants;  if  from  these  figures  we  ex- 
clude the  mortality  of  infants  under  one  year  old,  (which 
under  the  conditions  prevailing  in  South  Italy  is  excep- 
tionally high),  the  death-rate  is  reduced  to  13.2  per 
1000.  During  the  same  period  the  average  birth-rate  the 
whole  island  was,  31  per  1000. 

In  regard  to  the  derivation  of  the  name  Capri,  there 
can  be  little  room  for  doubt  that,  we  must  look  for  a 
Greek  and  not  a  Latin,  derivation.  Greek  was  the  lan- 
guage of  the  island  when  Augustus  first  brought  it  into 
notice,  and  as  we  shall  see  in  a  later  chapter,  the  island 
had  been  occupied  by  Greeks,  probably  from  Cumae,  for 
several  centuries.  All  the  other  cities  and  islands  on  and 
round  the  Gulf  of  Naples  had  been  peopled  by  Greek 
colonists  and  bore  Greek  names,  and  there  is  no  ap- 
parent reason  why  Capri  should  be  an  exception  to 
this  rule. 

We  may  therefore  discard  as  improbable  and  unten- 
able the  Latin  derivation  from  "  capra  "  or  "  caprea  " 
a  wild  goat.  Mackowen  also  observes  that  the  prefix 
"*  Ana  "  of  Anacapri  being  obviously  the  Greek  word 
for  "  upper  '  it  is  unlikely  and  contrary  to  all  the  pre- 
cedents of  etymology  that  this,  Greek  prefix,  should  be 
attached  to  a  Latin  termination. 

According  to  Alvino  the  word  is  said  to  be  of  Tyr- 
rhenian origin — signifying  "  island  of  the  rough  rocks  \ 

Martorelli  derives  it  from  the  Phoenician  "Kaprajim", 
two  towns. 


In  the  absence  however  of  any  more  plausible  or 
convincing  derivation  ,  we  may  be  satisfied  with  the 
generally  accepted  derivation,  and  assume  that  the  name 
comes  from  the  Greek  word  Kanpoc,  wild  boar. 

The  spelling  of  the  name  varies  much  among  diff- 
erent writers. 

Strabo  writes  it  KaTipeai. 

Plutarch  —  KccTtptat. 

Ptolemaeus  —  KaTiperz, 

Dion  Cassius  and  Ziphilinus  —  KaTipta. 

Julianus  —  KaTipata. 

Stephanus  of  Byzantiam  —  KaTiirjvy]. 

The  Roman  name  is  written  "  Capreae  "  by  Virgil, 
Tacitus,    Pliny,  Suetonius,  Statius,  and  Juvenal. 

Solinus  —  Capraria. 

The  principal  industry  of  the  island  is  the  production 
of  wine.  From  statistics  furnished  me  by  the  Municipal- 
ity of  Capri  we  find  that  during  the  year  1905  the 
production  of  wine  for  the  entire  island  amounted  to 
103,400  gallons.  Formerly  the  reputation  of  Capri  wine 
stood  deservedly  high  ,  and  even  today  "  Capri  wine  " 
figures  on  the  wine-lists  of  the  principal  hotels  and  res- 
taurants. Unfortunately  of  late  such  an  inferior  quality 
of  wine  has  been  put  on  the  market  under  the  soubri- 
quet of  "  Capri  wine  ",  that  its  reputation  has  suffered 
in  no  small  degree.  The  deterioration  of  the  wine  is 
due  to  two  causes,  the  primitive  method  in  which  it  is 
made ,  and  the  introduction  of  grapes  grown  on  the 
mainland,  which  are  mixed  with  the  real  Capri  grape. 


Wine  produced  in  1905  .  .  .  103,400 
„  exported*  ....*..  4,180 
„      imported 17,380 


The  above  Table  shows  the  large  discrepancy  which 
exists  between  the  amount  of  wine  produced  on  the 
island,  and  that  sold  under  the  name  of  "  Capri  wine  " 
in  Europe  and  the  United  States.  As  a  matter  of  fact, 
the  bulk  of  the  wine  exported  under  the  name  of  "Capri" 
is  grown  on  the  mainland  in  the  district  in  which  the 
Falernian  wine  was  produced  in  classical  times.  This 
district  is  only  a  few  miles  in  a  direct  line  from  Capri, 
and  the  name  has  been  adopted  as  a  trade  designation 
of  that  particular  class  of  local  wine.  In  my  Consular 
Report  for  1900,  1  called  attention  to  the  above  facts, 
and  suggested  a  remedy.  "  The  Times  "  of  April  5, 1902, 
quoting  from  the  Report  says,  "  The  method  which  is 
pursued  at  present  is  crude  and  primitive  in  the  extre- 
me ,  for  each  farmer  makes  his  own  wine  in  his  own 
way,  the  grapes  are  often  picked  before  they  are  ripe, 
they  are  not  properly  selected  and  freed  from  foreign 
matter,  and  perfect  cleanliness  is  not  sufficiently  consi- 
dered :  in  addition  to  this,  a  large  quantity  of  wine  from 
the    mainland  is   mixed  with  the  island-grown  wine  ". 

English  capital  might  profitably  be  employed  in  esta- 
blishing a  Winery  on  the  system  adopted  in  California. 
The  Company  enters  into  contracts  with  the  growers 
for  a  term  of  five  years, — agreeing  to' buy  their  grapes  at  a 
stipulated  price  per  pound;  the  grapes  are  then  conveyed 
to  the  Winery  or  Manufactory,  where  being  scientifically 
treated  in  a  uniform  way,  and  with  the  aid  of  improv- 
ed machinery  a  first-class  and  above  all ,  a  uniform 
quality  of  wine  is  produced,  which  might  be  confidently 
hoped  to  re — establish  the  character  of  Capri  wine  ,  and 
at  the  same  time  be  remunerative  to  the  investors. 

8  THE    BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

In  October  1901,  the  associated  Academies  of  Mun- 
ich, Vienna,  Leipsic  and  Gottingen  established  at  Anacapri 
(1,000  feet  above  the  sea  level)  a  station  for  the  ob- 
servation and  registration  of  the  dispersion  of  electric- 
ity in  the  open  air.  This  station  has  been  placed  in 
the  charge  of  Dr.  Vincenzo  Cuomo,  who  has  been  sup- 
plied with  delicate  and  accurate  apparatus  for  the  mea- 
surement of  electricity,  after  the  Elster  and  Geitel  system. 
The  adjustment  and  capacity  of  the  apparatus  was  tested 
by  Dr.  Elster  before  being  handed  over  to  Dr.  Cuomo. 
In  1902  Dr.  Cuomo  published  the  first  report  of  his 
daily  observations,  which,  however,  have  extended  over 
too  short  a  period  to  permit  of  any  definite  conclusions 
being  reached ,  but  there  is  little  doubt  that  results  of 
great  importance  will  eventually  be  arrived  at. 


This  Chapter  has  been  specially  written 
for  "  The  Book  of  Capri  "  by  Arthur  Silva 
White ,  Secretary  to  the  British  Associa- 
tion, author  of "  The  Expansion  of  Egypt"  , 
"  The  Development  of  Africa  ",  &c. 

Some  people  take  themselves  too  statistically:  they 
needs  must  have  exact  figures  before  they  venture  upon 
anything,  and,  even  when  these  are  at  their  command, 
they  are  not  always  competent  to  draw  correct  conclu- 
sions. For  instance ,  ladies  at  a  bargain-sale  will  per- 
suade themselves  that  they  require  certain  articles  simply 
because  these  happen  to  be  below  the  normal  market 
value,  which  is  absurd. 

Now,  nothing  is  more  difficult  to  define  than  the  cli- 
mate of  a  given  locality.  Climates,  like  our  dearest  friends, 
have  their  good  and  their  bad  points  :  it  all  depends  on 
the  point  of  view.  There  are  some  climates,  of  course, 
that  are  as  near  perfection  as  a  newly-made  bride ; 
but,  after  the  acclimatization  of  the  honeymoon  stage, 
one  is  apt  to  weary  of  the  monotony  of  perfection  :  a 
climate  is  not  good ,  in  fact ,  unless  one  can  grumble 
at  it;  because  variety    and  contrast  are  essential  anti- 

10  THE    BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

dotes  to  boredom.  Thus,  when  a  change  for  the  worse 
comes,  one  can  appreciate  what  one  has  enjoyed.  It 
may  be  simply  the  scirocco  of  h'stlessness,  which  lowers 
one's  estimate  of  mankind  in  general  and  of  oneself  in 
particular ;  it  may  be  a  summer  storm  ,  which  clears 
the  air ;  or,  again,  a  cyclone  that  compels  us  to  sup- 
port home-industries :  in  any  case,  someone  will  bene- 
fit by  it.  We  must  be  reasonable. 

in  considering  the  climate  of  Capri,  we  are  the  more 
willing  to  dispense  with  the  tyranny  of  statistics,  because 
these  do  not  happen  to  be  at  our  command.  It  is  true 
that,  during  the  past  20  years,  regular  observations  have 
been  made  by  Dr.  Cuomo,  in  his  well-equipped  obser- 
vatory ;  but  the  results  of  the  last  decade  have  not,  like 
those  of  the  former,  ^  been  tabulated  and  published  by 
this  accomplished  meteorologist.  Moreover,  since  local 
variations  are  considerable  in  a  high  rocky  islet  like 
Capri ,  and  climates  proverbially  deteriorate  almost  as 
much  as  generations  later  than  our  own,  we  must  be 
satisfied  in  this  place  with  a  general  description  ,  un- 
biassed by  the  fact  that  most  residents  in  Capri  com- 
monly regard  their  own  locality  as  the  most  favored  one. 

There  remains  the  point  of  view  to  be  considered: 
and  it  is  obvious  that  this  must  differ  very  widely.  Your 
professional  invalid,  who  has  visited  every  Winter  resort 
and  tries  Capri  for  a  change ,  will  not  hold  the  same 
view  as  your  robust  tourist,  who  plays  tennis  or  smo- 
kes Neapolitan  cigars ;  whilst  neither  class  can  have 
the  experience  of  residents ,  who   have  summered  and 

1  "  L'lsola  di  Capri  ",  by  Dott.  Vincenzo  Cuomo.  Napoli; 
Tipografia  A.  Irani,  1894. 

CLIMATE  1  1 

wintered  the  place,  perhaps  for  several  years.  Our  point 
of  view,  therefore ,  must  be  broad  and  impartial ;  and 
our  standard  of  comparison  will  be  the  climate  of  the 
British  Isles. 

We  must  distinguish,  too,  between  climate  and  wea- 
ther —  the  general  and  the  particular  —  and  remember 
that  there  are  days  on  which  the  meteorologist  and  the 
pathologist  would  agree  to  differ:  since  environment,  in 
its  effect  on  the  human  constitution  ,  is  an  important 
adjunct  to  climate. 

Unlike  Ischia,  which  is  larger  and  higher,  and  has 
other  characteristics  that  give  it  a  purely  insular  climate, 
Capri  is  small  enough  to  feel  the  full  effect  of  the  sea 
in  producing  equability  of  temperature  throughout  the 
year,  and  also  a  small  diurnal  range ;  it  is,  moreover, 
large  enough  to  offer  many  sheltered  spots,  and  high 
enough  to  afford  slight  local  variations  of  climatic 

The  island,  with  its  twin  massifs,  Solaro  and  Tiberio, 
connected  by  a  ridge  on  which  the  town  of  Capri  is 
situated ,  has  a  general  slope  towards  the  West ,  and 
therefore  intercepts  and  cools  the  rain-bearing  winds , 
producing  a  slightly  heavier  rainfall  than  if  the  versant 
of  the  island  were  in  the  reverse  direction;  but  its  mo- 
derate elevations  sometimes  escape  the  rain  clouds  that 
precipitate  on  the  higher  altitudes  of  the  adjacent  main- 
land and  even  cling  round  Ischia.  The  rain,  too,  when 
it  does  fall,  is  not  absorbed  by  the  impervious  limestone 
rock  of  which  the  Island  is  composed ,  but  is  drained 
off  radiply  down  its  declivities :  indeed  ,  so  highly  em- 
bossed is  Capri,  that,  even  after  the  heaviest  showers, 
the  roads  and  paths  are  never  muddy.    As  for  the  dust 

12  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

in  the  rainless  summer  months,  that,    as   Kiph'ng  rem- 
arks, is  another  story. 

The  prevaih'ng  winds  in  the  winter  are  N.  and  E., 
alternating  with  S.,  SW.,  and  SE.;  and  of  these,  southerly 
winds  are  the  least  frequent.  In  the  Summer,  westerly 
winds  prevail ,  particularly  the  maestrale  (NW.  wind) , 
which  ushers  in  the  finest  weather  and  blows  constantly 
between  the  bright  hours  of  eleven  and  five,  giving  place 
towards  evening  to  the  land-breeze  from  the  north.  Feb- 
ruary to  April  are  the  windiest  months ;  June  to  Au- 
gust ,  the  calmest.  The  tramontana  (N.) ,  greco  (NE.) , 
and  maestrale  (NW.)  are  fresh  —  in  winter,  cold  —  dry 
and  tonic  winds ;  the  South,  scirocco  (SE.),  and  libec- 
cio  (SW.)  are  warm,  humid,  and  sedative  winds.  The 
scirocco  proper  is  moist  and  relaxing  to  a  degree.  East 
winds  are  moderately  dry;  west  winds,  moderately  hu- 
mid. The  maestrale  in  winter,  though  comparatively 
rare,  is  bitterly  cold  and  stormy — the  tramontana  too;  but 
the  worst  storms  come,  of  course,  from  the  South-west, 
when  the  Atlantic  system  of  weather  prevails  over  the 

The  Island  carries  a  fairly  high  and  steady  barometer 
throughout  the  year.  Taking  January  and  July  —  the 
extreme  months — as  examples,  Capri  lies  well  within 
the  isobar  of  30.  0  inches  in  the  former ,  and  just  on 
the  edge  of  it  (29.  9  in.)  in  the  latter.  The  oscillations 
of  the  barometer  are  inconsiderable,  except  in  the  stormy 
winter  months  (January  to  March).  To  support  a  column 
of  mercury  under  a  pressure  of  30.  0  inches  means  that 
you  must  pretty  often  enjoy  anti-cyclonic  conditions, 
or  fine  weather. 


The  mean  relative  humidity  of  the  air  does  not  vary 
greatly  throughout  the  year,  and  is  not  excessive,  owing 
to  rapid  drainage,  impervious  sub-soil,  and  high  winds. 
The  climate  of  Capri  may,  therefore ,  be  regarded  as 
neither  dry  nor  humid ,  as  the  vegetation  proves ,  but 
as  occupying  a  mean  position  between  these  two  extre- 
mes. Anacapri,  being  higher,  may  be  relatively  more 
humid  in  calm  weather,  when  the  clouds  cling  round 
Monte  Solaro;  but,*on  the  other  hand,  being  more  expos- 
ed than  the  town  of  Capri ,  the  high  winds  act  bene- 
ficially in  this  respect.  Mist  is  not  frequent,  nor  of  long 
duration,  and  occurs  only  in  the  winter  months. 

The  rainfall  is  relatively  light,  as  compared  with  the 
rest  of  Southern  Italy.  Owing  to  the  precipitous  cha- 
racter of  the  island,  it  is  caught  only  on  the  roofs  and 
terraces  of  the  houses,  (catchment  basins,  so  to  speak), 
and  carefully  stored  in  cisterns.  In  the  summer,  the 
water-supply  occasionally  gives  out :  then,  water  has  to 
be  brought  from  Naples.  There  is  little  or  no  rain  be- 
tween June  and  August,  inclusive;  but  about  the  middle 
of  September  the  weather  breaks,  and  there  is  a  copious 
rainfall,  accompanied  by  thunderstorms  and  gales.  The 
rainiest  months  are  October  to  January,  inclusive,  dur- 
ing which  the  air  is  relatively  humid. 

Hail  is  not  of  frequent  occurrence — perhaps  it  may 
fall  on  eight  days  in  the  year ;  and  snow  is  unknown 
except  in  winters  of  exceptional  severity.  From  Octo- 
ber to  May ,  the  sky  is  more  or  less  cloudy ;  during 
the  remainder  of  the  year  it  is  clear ,  reaching,  in  the 
Summer  months,  and  on  occasional  days  in  the  winter, 
a  serenity  which  is  the  principal  charm  of  Capri,  and 
the  despair  of  the  painter,  who  is  condemned  ever  to 

14  THE    BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

reproduce  himself  in  smiling  guise.  Roughly  speaking, 
and  in  the  aggregate,  one  may  say  that,  during  the 
Spring,  there  is  over  a  month  of  fine  and  under  one 
month  of  rainy  days  ;  in  the  Summer,  two  months  per- 
fectly fine,  and  one  week  bad ;  in  the  Autumn,  a  month 
and  a  half  of  good ,  and  nearly  one  month  of  rainy 
weather;  in  the  Winter,  at  least  one  month  of  fine  days 
and  one  month  of  very  much  the  reverse.  The  re- 
mainder ,  probably,  will  be  days  on  which  there  may 
be  a  difference  of  opinion. 

in  the  important  matter  of  temperature,  one  cannot 
speak  with  the  same  confidence  and  precision,  because 
temperature  varies  with  altitude  (1°  Fahr.  less  for  every 
270  ft)  and  is  subject  to  many  modifications  due  to 
position.  Nothing  is  more  deceptive  than  temperature; 
because  the  wind,  although  not  locally  affecting  the  air 
itself ,  lowers  the  temperature  of  the  exposed  skin  by 
rapid  evaporation  :  consequently,  one  feels  colder  than 
the  thermometer  registers.  For  purposes  of  compari- 
son, too,  all  published  observations  of  temperature  are 
reduced  to  sea-level,  and  are  not  absolute,  as  would  be 
preferable  for  regional  comparisons.  You  may  tell  your 
servant  to  use  the  thermometer,  in  preparing  your  morn- 
ing bath ,  but  he  much  prefers  to  trust  to  his  hand . 
Temperature,  therefore,  is  to  some  extent  a  matter  of 
feeling,  though  not  of  opinion— as  time  is— in  Capri. 

The  mean  annual  temperature,  taken  at  60^  Fahr., 
is  higher  than  at  any  station  in  the  British  isles ; .  it  is, 
for  instance,  nine  degrees  warmer  than  that  of  London. 
According  to  Dr.  Cuomo's  observations  for  the  period 
1885-1892,  the  mean  maximums  for  the  seasons  were : 
Winter,  57°;  Spring  ,  66°  ;  Summer,  80°  ;  Autumn,  71°. 


This  shows  a  seasonal  range  of  23°.  As  regards  mean 
monthly  temperatures  for  the  same  period,  the  lowest 
recorded  is  48°  for  January  and  February ;  and  the 
highest,  740  for  August — or,  a  mean  annual  range  of  26°, 
as  in  London.  The  diurnal  range  is  exceptionally  low, 
as  a  result  of  proximity  to  the  sea :  it  is  greater  in 
Summer  than  in  Winter,  the  maximum  being  reached  in 
August.  It  nay  be  stated  with  some  confidence  that  none 
of  the  popular  health  resorts  can  be  compared  to  Capri 
for  its  low  daily  range  of  temperature  —  a  matter  of 
great  importance  to  invalids ;  in  particular,  there  is  no 
sudden  fall  of  temperature  at  sunset.  The  result  is  that, 
in  Winter,  even  the  most  delicate  persons  can  live  in 
the  open  air  (weather  permitting)  from  eight  or  nine  in 
the  morning  until  after  sunset ,  so  far  as  temperature 
is  concerned,  in  the  Summer ,  of  course ,  the  cooler 
nights  are  welcome :  in  the  absence  of  dew  ,  one  can 
sleep  out  of  doors  with  safety. 

Equability  of  temperature  and,  (considering  its  posi- 
tion as.  an  island  in  a  proverbially  inconstant  sea),  com- 
parative uniformity  of  climatic  phenomena  are  the  most 
marked  characteristics  of  the  climate  of  Capri.  But  the 
outstanding  feature,  and  principal  charm,  is  the  bright 
sunshine  which  is  almost  constant  in  the  summer  and 
is  comparatively  frequent  in  the  winter ;  the  moonlight 
nights,  too,  are  very  beautiful,  its  romantic  land-sculp- 
ture and  bold  coast-line,  the  precipitous  character  of 
which  is  very  impressive,  make  Capri  one  of  the  most 
picturesque  islands  in  the  world. 

With  these  facts  before  him,  the  reader  need  have  no 
difficulty  in  determining  the  most  suitable  spot  for  re- 
sidence, according  to  the  season.    A  southern  exposure 

16  THE    BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

in  the  winter  and  a  northern  aspect  in  the  summer  are 
more  essential  in  Capri  than  in  any  health-resort  on 
the  mainland ;  and  there  is  no  house  on  the  island  which 
completely  enjoys  the  advantages  of  both. 

The  best  winter  residences  are  situated  on  the  Via 
Tragara  —  the  only  level  path  in  Capri  proper ;  and  still 
more  sheltered  spots,  though  few  houses,  are  available  in 
the  small  amphitheatre  above  the  Piccola  Marina.  The 
best  Summer  residences  are  to  be  found  ,  and  in  any 
number,  on  all  the  northern  slopes  of  the  island,  on 
Tiberio,  and  at  Anacapri.  Those  who  wish  to  be  near 
the  sea,  for  the  excellent  bathing  and  boating,  will  neces_ 
sarily  be  attracted  to  the  Grande  Marina.  But  the  island 
is  so  small,  and  the  service  of  cabs  so  plentiful  and  good, 
that,  so  long  as  one  is  not  far  from  the  carriage-road 
which  connects  the  Marina  with  Anacapri  and  Caprile, 
there  are  many  other  convenient  and  favourable  local- 
ities in  which  to  pitch  one's  tent,  in  particular,  up  at 
Anacapri ,  nearly  a  thousand  feet  above  sea-level ,  the 
air  is  so  light  and  fresh,  that  full  advantage  can  be  taken 
of  the  numerous  walks  along  the  flat,  or  on  the  gentler 
slopes  of  this  high  region. 

Note-"  Climatologia  insulare  con  particolare  riguardo  al  clima 
deirisola  di  Capri  '',beinga  communication  made  by  Dr.  Vin- 
cenzo  Cuomo  of  Capri  to  the  Seventh  International  Congress 
of  Hydrology  and  Climatology  held  at  Venice.  This  valuable 
and  comprehensive  report,  which  contains  Dr  Cuomo' s  daily 
observations  from  1890  to  1905  is  the  last  word  on  the  scien- 
tific climatology  of  our  island.  It  is  hoped  that  the  report  will 
shortly  be  published  in  book  form. 

Classical  Capri. 

(Being  a  statement  of  the  extent  of  our 
knowledge  of  the  island  in  Groeco-Roman 
times,  derived  from  the  classical  writers 
and  ancient  inscriptions,  by  Thomas  Spen- 
cer Jerome,  United  States  Consular  Agent 
at  Capri). 

It  is  my  purpose  in  what  follows  to  lay  before  the 
reader,  as  briefly  as  is  consistent  with  completeness,  a 
statement  of  what  is  contained  in  the  classical  writers 
and  inscriptions,  concerning  the  island  of  Capri  in  an- 
cient times.  When  we  read  the  two  hundred  and  eighty- 
eight  pages  of  Mangoni's  History  devoted  to  this  sub- 
ject, to  say  nothing  of  his  volume  on  Capri  archaeol- 
ogy, or  the  one  hundred  and  forty  five  pages  of  Ca- 
nale  ,  not  to  mention  many  others  of  greater  or  less 
renown,  we  get  the  impression  that  the  fortunes  of  the 
island  in  Greek  and  Roman  times  are  well  known.  It 
will  be  my  endeavour  to  indicate  just  what  we  really 
do  know  on  this  subject. 

Passing  over  the  references  in  the  12th  Book  of  the 
Odyssey,  relating  to  the  hero's  passage  of  the  Island  of 


18  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

the  Sirens,  as  scarcely  historical  in  character ,  and  the 
lines  in  the  Argonautica  of  Apollonius  Rhodius  (IV. , 
891)  as  equally  mythical ,  and  in  both  cases  probably 
not  even  referring  to  Capri  at  all,  we  come  chronolo- 
gically to  Virgil  (Aeneid  VII,  733-6)  who  mentions  Oe- 
bale,  "  whom  Telon  is  said  to  have  begotten  with  the 
nymph  Sebethis ,  when  ,  already  an  old  man  ,  he  held 
Capri,  the  kingdom  of  the  Teleboans  ",  —  this  being  the 
first  recorded  instance  of  the  stimulating  effect  of  the 
Capri  climate  in  cases  of  senility,  a  phenomenon  which, 
so  it  is  said,  has  since  been  noticed.  I  may  observe  in 
passing  that,  the  Teleboans  originally  were  a  tribe  inha- 
biting some  small  islands  off  the  coast  of  Acarnania , 
and  having  as  their  only  title  to  fame,  a  propensity  to 
rob  travellers.  (See  Argonautica,  1,  749,  and  Strabo  X 
2,  20).  It  would  appear  that  at  some  time  Capri  was 
colonized  by  them,  but  of  course  their  bad  habits  were 
soon  forgotten  here. 

Pomponius  Mela  (II,  7),  names  the  island,  and  Strabo 
(63  B.  C.-21  A.  D.)  describes  it  as  follows  (V ,  4 ,  9) 
"  Capri  anciently  contained  two  small  cities;  now,  only 
one.  The  Neapolitans  possessed  this  island,  but  having 
lost  Ischia  in  war  they  received  it  again  from  Caesar 
Augustus,  giving  Capri  in  exchange.  Having  erected  here, 
very  splendid  edifices,  he  made  it  his  special  retreat  ". 
He  suggests  (I,  3,  19,  &  VI,  I,  6)  that,  Capri  was  once 
disjoined  from  the  mainland ,  and  mentions  its  name ; 
(II,  5,  20,  and  V,  4,  8). 

Ovid  (Met.  XV,  709),  and  Seneca  (Ep.  77),  make 
bare  mention  of  ships  passing  the  island,  and  Pliny  the 
Elder,  (Nat.  Hist.  Ill,  12)  says  that,  "  at  a  distance  of 
"  eight  miles  from  Sorrento  lies  Capri,  famous  for  the 


castle  of  the  noble  prince  Tiberius  :  it  is  eleven  miles 
in  circumference  ".  Silius  Italicus  (25-100  A.  D.)  re- 
fers to  Capri  as  "  the  rocky  island  of  ancient  Telon  " 
(Pun.  Vll,  50),  and  in  the  same  poem  sings  of  a  "  troop 
of  affrighted  Nereids  hastening  helter-skelter  back  to 
their  accustomed  haunt,  where  the  Teleboan  land  lifts 
itself  up  in  the  midst  of  the  sea  ". 

Juvenal  refers  (Sat.  X,  71),  to  the  '^  wordy  and  lengthy 
epistle  "  which  Tiberius  sent  from  Capri  to  denounce 
Sejanus,  and  a  few  lines  further  on  speaks  of  "  the  prince 
sitting  on  the  narrow  rock  of  Capri  with  his  Chaldean 
herd  "  (i.  e.  of  soothsayers).  Neglecting  the  chrono- 
logical order,  and  continuing  on  with  the  poets,  we  find 
Statius  (61-96  A.  D.),  referring  to  the  mild  winters  and 
cool  summers  of  the  country  about  here ;  and  again 
(Silv.  Ill,  5),  he  speaks  of  "  the  home  of  the  Teleboans, 
where  the  lighthouse,  rival  of  the  night  wandering 
moon,  sheds  its  rays,  sweet  to  anxious  ships  ",  and 
also  mentions  its  name  at  111,  2,  23.  Possibly  it  is  Sta- 
tius, though  1  have  not  found  the  original  passage,  who 
speaks  of  Capri  as,  "  Indeed  a  little  island,  but  once 
a  rival  of  Rome :  it  was  a  worthy  home  of  Caesars 
and  men  ".  Claudian  and  Ausonius,  poets  of  the  IV. 
Century  ,  mention  Tiberius's  residence  at  Capri  (de 
Quart.  Con.  Hon.  Pan  and  Tetrastich.  31),  and  Sidonius, 
in  the  fifth  Century  twice  used  the  expression ,  "  the 
Capri  of  Tiberius  ",  referring  to  his  reign  (V,  32,  2, 
VII,  104).  In  the  same  class  may  be  included  Julian'  s 
reference  to  Tiberius's  life  here  (Caesars,  sub  nom,  Tib.). 

Returning  now  to  the  historians  and  other  prose  wri- 
ters, I  shall  give  their  references  to  Capri.  These  have 
principally  to  do  with  the  life  of  Tiberius,  and  the  weight 

20  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

to  be  given  to  the  tales  they  tell  has  been  discussed  in 
another  place,  and  need  not  be  dwelt  on  here.  I  shall 
do  no  more  than  to  transcribe  them. 

Plutarch  (On  Banishment,  9),  says  that,  Tiberius 
Caesar  passed  the  last  seven  years  of  his  life  on  the 
island,  and  "  that  sacred,  governing  spirit  that  swayed 
the  whole  world,  and  was  enclosed,  as  it  were,  in  his 
breast,  yet  for  so  long  a  time  never  removed  nor  chan- 
ged place.  And  yet  the  thoughts  and  cares  of  the  Em- 
pire, that  were  poured  in  upon  him,  and  invaded  him 
on  every  side,  made  that  island's  repose  and  retirement 
to  be  less  pure  and  undisturbed  to  him  \ 

The  Younger  Pliny  (Ep.  VI  20)  speaks  of  the  cloud 
from  the  great  eruption  of  Vesuvius  in  79  A.  D.  hav- 
ing surrounded  and  concealed  Capri  from  the  view  of 
those  on  Cape  Misenum,  across  the  bay.  The  Jewish 
historian  Josephus ,  in  his  "  Antiquities  of  the  Jews  " , 
written  late  in  the  first  Century,  (XVIll,  VI,  4,  5,  6  and  8), 
refers,  but  without  details,  to  the  fact  of  Tiberius's  re- 
sidence at  Capri. 

Tacitus,  writing  early  in  the  second  Century,  contains 
a  number  of  references  to  Tiberius'  life  here.  His  retinue 
was  slender,  one  Senator  Cocceius  Nerva,  his  minister 
Sejanus,  and  one  knight  Curtius  Atticus.  "  The  rest  were 
men  of  letters ,  chiefly  Greeks ,  whose  conversation 
might  amuse  him  \  (Annals.  IV,  57).  Tiberius  "  seclu- 
ded himself  in  Capri  "  (IV,  67)  and  we  read  further  on  that 
the  historian  was  "strongly  inclined  to  believe,"  that  he  was 
taken  by  its  perfect  solitude  and  inaccessibility.  "  The 
climate  is  mild  in  winter  from  the  shelter  of  a  mountain 
which  intercepts  the  rigour  of  the  winds;  its  summers 
are  refreshed  by  breezes  from  the  West  and  rendered 

CLASSICAL   CAPRI       *  21 

delightful  by  the  wide  expanse  of  the  sea  which  the 

island  commands Tradition  records  that  the 

Greeks  occupied  the  region  and  that  Capri  was  inhab- 
ited by  the  Teleboans.  However  it  was,  Tiberius  chose 
for  his  retreat  twelve  villas  having  different  names  and 
of  considerable  magnitude,  and  the  more  intent  he  had 
formerly  been  on  public  cares,  so  much  the  more  he 
now  abandoned  himself  to  secret  debaucheries  "  and 
cruelty.  He  occasionally  went  to  Campania  (IV,  74), 
and  "  often  came  to  the  neighbourhood  of  the  city 
(Rome),  and  even  visited  the  gardens  upon  the  Tiber., 
but  went  back  again  to  the  rocks  and  loneliness  of  the 
island,  ashamed  of  his  villanies  and  lusts,  in  which  he 
rioted  inordinately  ",  —  and  so  on,  with  a  few  choice 
details  (Vi,  I).  Later  on,  (VI,  6),  the  clairvoyant  histo- 
rian, refers  to  Tiberius'  secret  anguish  "  in  this  inac- 
cessible solitude  "  and  (VI,  20),  mentions  the  fact  that, 
Caius  (Caligula)  accompanied  the  Emperor  to  Capri. 

Suetonius  writing  at  about  the  same  time,  is  our  most 
voluminous  though  probably  untrustworthy  authority  on 
Capri.  On  the  occasion  of  the  arrival  of  Augustus  in 
Capri,  "  some  decayed  branches  of  an  old  ilex,  which 
hung  drooping  to  the  ground,  recovered  themselves,  at 
which  he  was  so  delighted  that  he  made  an  exchange 
of  the  island  of  Ischia  for  that  of  Capri ".  (Suet.  Aug.  92). 
He  had  here  a  kind  of  museum  of  "  the  huge  limbs  of 
sea-monsters  and  wild  beasts,  which  some  affect  to  call 
the  bones  of  giants :  and  also  the  arms  of  ancient  he- 
roes \  (Suet.  Aug.  72).  On  his  last  visit  here,  A.  D.  14, 
he  spent  four  days  on  the  island,  during  which  time  he 
distributed  gifts  ,  "  constantly  attended  to  see  the  boys 
perform  their  exercises,  according  to  an  ancient  custom  ; 


Still  continued  in  Capri.  He  gave  them  likewise  an  en- 
tertainment in  his  presence,  permitting  the  greatest  free- 
dom in  jesting  and  scrambling  for  things  thrown  among 
them,  etc.  enjoying  himself  in  every  way  he  could.  "  He 
called  an  island  near  Capri  "  Apragopolis  " — the  Town 
of  the  Idlers,  from  the  indolent  life  that  several  of  his 
party  led  there.  A  favourite  of  his,  Masgabas,  whom 
he  called  "  the  founder  of  the  island ,  "  had  been 
buried  there  the  year  before,  and  observing  from  his 
dining-room  a  great  many  people  with  torches  as- 
sembled there  ,  he  improvised  some  verses,  and  asked 
Thrasyllus ,  a  campanion  of  Tiberius ,  to  name  the 
author:  at  which  the  courtier  wisely  praised  them 
highly,  and  greatly  delighted  the  old  man,  (Suet.  Aug. 
98).  Tiberius,  the  same  author  tells  us,  "  retired  to  Ca- 
pri ,  being  greatly  delighted  with  the  island  because  it 
was  accessible  only  by  a  narrow  beach,  being  on  all 
sides  surrounded  by  stupendous  cliffs  and  by  a  deep 
sea  ".  (Suet.  Tib,  40),  and  cast  off  all  care  of  the 
government  (Suet.  Tib.  49).  Having  now  the  advantage 
of  privacy  "  he  abandoned  himself  to  all  the  vicious 
propensities  which  he  had  long  but  imperfectly  concealed 
and  of  which  1  (Suetonius)  shall  here  give  a  particular 
account  from  the  beginning  \  (Suet.  Tib.  42) .  The 
author  then  proceeds  for  four  chapters  to  give  the  al- 
leged private  life  of  this  old  man  from  the  age  of  sixty- 
eight  to  his  death  at  the  age  of  seventy-eight.  The 
delicacy  of  our  manners  prevents  even  a  transcription 
of  these  obscene  passages,  nor  is  there  in  them  any- 
thing of  importance  relating  to  the  island,  unless  it  be 
that  certain  revels  were  held  in  caves  and  hollow  rocks, 
and   that   Tiberius  was  often  called   Caprineus   (Suet. 


Tib.  42-45;.     Further  on  (Tib.  60)  certain  alleged  cruel- 
ties of   Tiberius  are  mentioned;    his  punishment  of  a 
fisherman  who  came  upon  him  unawares,  and  the  exe- 
cution of  a  guard  for  the  theft  of  a  peacock  from  the 
imperial    orchard ;    and    we    read ,    without   too  much 
compassion,  of  the  punishment  of  a  centurion  for  failing 
in  his  duty   of  keeping  the    roads  in  good   condition. 
(See  also  Suet.  Tib.  62).    He  also  tried  and  punished 
the  poisoners  of  his  son  Drusus.     "  The  place  of  exe- 
cution is  still  shown  at  Capri,  where   he  ordered  those 
who  were  condemned  to  die,  after  long   and  exquisite 
tortures,  to  be  thrown  before  his  eyes  from  a  precipice 
into  the  sea.     There  a   party   of   sailors  belonging   to 
the  fleet ,  waited  for  them  and  broke  their  bones  with 
poles  and   oars  lest  they  should   have  any  life  left  in 
them  "     (Suet.  Tib.  62).    This   description  hardly   fits 
the  present  alleged  Salto,  nor  any  other  possible  place. 
On  the  occasion  of  the  conspiracy  of  Sejanus,  he  had 
ships  ready  to  enable  him  to  escape  to  the  legions  if 
necessary.     "  Meanwhile  he  was  upon  the  watch  from 
the  summit  of  a  lofty  cliff,  for  the  signals  he  had  order- 
ed to  be    made   if  anything  occurred ,   lest  the  mess- 
engers should  be  tardy.    Even  when  he  had  quite  foiled 
the  conspiracy,  he  was  still  haunted  as  much  as  ever 
by  fears  and  apprehensions,  in  so  much  that  he  never 
stirred  out  of  the  Villa  Jovis  for  nine  months  thereafter  " 
(Suet.  Tib.  65).    This  is  the  only  mention  of  the  name 
of  any  Villa  and  fails  to  identify  it.    "  During  the  whole 
of  his  seclusion  at  Capri,  twice  only   did  he  make  an 
effort  to  visit  Rome  "    (Suet.  Tib.  72).     "  A  few  days 
before  he  died  ,  the  lighthouse  at   Capri   was  thrown 
down    by  an    earthquake  "    (Suet.  Tib.    74);    but   we 


know  that  it  was  standing  again  by  the  time  of  Statius. 
Caligula  lived  at  Capri  with  Tiberius ,  and  seemed  to 
find  it  necessary  to  disguise  himself  in  order  to  engage 
in  disreputable  pleasures,  (Suet,  Calig,  10),  while  Philo, 
the  only  contemporary  writer,  says;  (Amb.  Ill)  that  his 
manner  of  living  while  with  Tiberius  was  very  simple 
and  wholesome,  and  draws  a  very  different  picture  of 
Tiberius  from  the  writers  of  a  century  later.  The  fu- 
ture Emperor  Vitellius  is  said  to  have  been  at  Capri  as 
a  youth  during  Tiberius'  time:  (Suet,  Vitel,  3). 

Marcus  Aurelius  in  his  "  Meditations  "  (XII,  27)  refers 
to  "  Tiberius  at  Capri  "  and  Dion  Cassius,  the  historian 
(155-220  A.  D.)   has  this   to  say  in   narration   of  the 
events  of  the  year  29  B.  C,  after  Augustus  had  triumphed 
at  Actium  in  31  B.    C.  "  Augustus   obtained  from  the 
Neapolitans  the  island  of  Capri,  which  had  belonged  to 
them  from  the  most  remote  times,  in  exchange  for  an- 
other territory  which  he  granted  to  them.     Capri  is  sit- 
uated not  far  from  Sorrento  :  it  produces  nothing  useful, 
but  it  preserves  a  celebrity  even  to  the  present  time 
because  of  the  sojourn  of  Tiberius  \    (Rom.  Hist.  LII 
42).  He  says  further  that  Livia  (his  mother)  was  one  of 
the  causes  of  Tiberius'   retirement  to   Capri  (LVII,  12)  ; 
and  that   during  Sejanus'  prosperity  he  seemed   to  be 
Emperor,  and  Tiberius  only  lord  of  the  island  of  Ca- 
pri (LVIII,  5,) ;  and  that  Tiberius  had  prepared  ships  to 
escape  in  case  Sejanus  came  to  attack  him.  (LVIII.  13). 
His  last   reference  to  Capri  is  one  to  the   effect  that 
Crispina  (the  wife  of  the  Emperor  Commodus)  and 
Lucilla  (his  sister),  before  disappearing  from  the  world, 
were    exiled    to  Capri  (LXXII,  4). 


Ptolemy  in  the  second  century,  and  Solinus  in  the 
third,  mention  Capri ;  and  Sextus  Aureh'us  Victor ,  an 
historian  of  the  fourth  century  says ,  that,  "  Tiberius 
chose  the  island  as  a  place  of  concealment  for  his 
wickedness  ^  (Caesars  III). 

The  foregoing,  with  one  exception  hereafter  to  be 
noted  are ,  I  believe,  all  the  references  to  Capri  to  be 
found  in  the  writings  of  antiquity,  and  it  will  be  seen 
that  they  afford  a  meagre  basis  for  the  many  pages  of 
alleged  history  we  find  in  some  modern  writers. 

But  an  important  source  of  historical  information  is 
often  to  be  found  in  extant  inscriptions.  Let  us  examine 
what  there  may  be  of  these,  in  the  Grotto  of  Mitro- 
mania,  which,  from  reliefs  found  there,  is,  probably  cor- 
rectly, believed  to  have  been  at  some  time — (but  I  think 
not  before  the  second  century) ,  a  place  of  Mithraic 
worship  —  is  said  to  have  been  found  a  Greek  inscription 
in  the  nature  of  an  epitaph,  —  but  there  seems  to  be 
some  doubt  about  it.  In  it,  Hypatus,  aged  under  twenty, 
bewails  his  untimely  fate  and  relates  that  a  '^  despot  " 
(not  a  "  Caesar  "  ,  as  it  is  often  translated) ,  "  had 
once  favoured  him,  but  now  deprives  him  of  hope  ';  and 
he  asks  his  brother  and  parents  to  "  mourn  for  him  no 
longer  ".  So  far  as  1  know,  there  is  no  way  of  connecting 
it  with  any  particular  "  despot,  age  \  or  circumstance. 

Another  sepulchral  inscription  found  in  Capri  reads, 
"  Taurikes,  daughter  of  Taius,  farewell  ",  and  another, 
"  Theano,  daughter  of  Oenicus ,  farewell  " .  Another 
on  a  pedestal ,  "  Athenodorus,  son  of  Agesandros  of 
Rhodes,  made  this  ":  and  another.  "  Gnaeus  Megacles, 
Patron  of  the  people  of  Paestum  ".    Another  found  at 


Sopra-Fontana  is  so  mutilated  as  to  be  quite  unde- 
cipherable, except  that  the  Greek  word  meantng  "  Au- 
gustus "  occurs  in  it.  Another  found  near  Tragara 
reads.  "  Yacinthi  Juliae  August  (ae)  \  This  probably 
refers  to  a  slave  or  freedman  of  Julia  Augusta,  by  which 
name  Livia,  wife  of  Augustus ,  was  known  after  his 
death.  "  Yacinthi  "  is  doubtless  the  same  as  our  word 
"  Hyacinth  ". 

Pellicia  reports  one  of  more  importance,  which 
Dr.  Schultze  in  his  book  on  Capri  (p.  35)  seems  to 
me  to  have  slightly  misapprehended,  though  the  Greek 
is  by  no  means  clear.  I  make  it  read,  "  The  people 
must  not  make  a  noise,  nor  an  altar  to  the  daemons, 
either  in  the  agora  (Piazza),  or  on  the  property  of  the 
public  \  As  the  word  "  daemon  "  was  the  regular 
one  applied  by  the  early  Christians  to  the  pagan  gods — 
whose  existence  as  supernatural  powers  they  never 
doubted  —  we  seem  to  have  here  one  of  the  early  laws 
looking  to  the  suppression  of  paganism.  It  dates,  1 
should  think,  from  about  the  reign  of  Constantius,  for 
the  later  laws  were  far  more  drastic,  as  the  Christians 
became  more  firmly  seated  in  the  saddle. 

The  above  are  all  the  inscriptions  reported  in  any 
of  the  books  on  Capri,  which  I  have  seen,  though 
doubtless  there  have  been  others  found.  At  any  rate 
no  others  seem  to  have  been  used  as  a  basis  for  his- 
torical narratives.  In  view  of  the  foregoing ,  which  , 
as  I  have  said,  is  practically  exhaustive,  the  reader  can 
determine  how  much  is  truth  and  how  much  is  fable, 
or  perhaps  we  might  say  poetic  imagination  ,  in  what 
is  written  and  told  as  to  Capri  in  ancient  times.  Pos- 
sibly there  is  some  more   evidence  to  be  produced  to 


convert  Capri  myths  into  history:  if  so,  all  will  welcome 
it.  Scientific  archaeology  may  do  much,  and  such  in- 
vestigations as  Doctor  Cerio  has  made  are  most  val- 
uable, though  1  have  not  touched  on  them  here,  as 
they  seem  to  belong  to  prehistoric  times.  It  is  an 
interesting  speculation  that,  his  discovery  of  indications 
of  an  anthropophagous  tribe  resident  here,  may  sug- 
gest the  true  nature  of  the  "  Siren  "  myth. 

But  1  have  left  to  the  last ,  to  reward  the  patience 
of  the  faithful  reader,  something  of  by  no  means  the 
least  importance  —  the  only  line  of  the  only  Capri  poet 
of  ancient  times,  —  the  predecessor  of ,  how  noble  a 
brood  in  these  days!  Stephanus  of  Byzantium,  a  late 
writer,  speaks  of  "  Capri ,  an  island  of  Italy:  hence 
came  Blaesus  the  Caprese  serio-comic  poet  ",  (de 
Urbibus).  He  must  be  the  same  who  is  mentioned  by 
Athenaeus  in  his  Deipnosophists.  (Ill  Centuriy).  He 
tells  us  (III,  76)  what  word  Blaesus  used  for  "  sur- 
feit \  so  we  can  surmise  that  there  was  sometimes  a 
note  of  satiety  in  his  verse:  but  more  momentous  far, 
he  quotes  (XI,  75)  a  line  from  Blaesus,  noteworthy  for 
its  origin  and  its  rarity,  as  well  as  for  its  sentiment. 
It  runs  ; 

"  Pour  out  for  me  seven  measures  of  the  best 
sweet  wine  ". 

This  is  the  one  articulate  cry  of  ancient  Capri 
which  has  come  to  us  across  the  ages! 


This  Chapter  has  been  specially  written 
for.  "  The  Book  of  Capri  "  by  Dr.  Igna- 
zio  Cerio,  author  of  "  Flora  dell'  Isola  di 
Capri  "  ,  who  also  edited  and  annotated 
"  Ruderi  Augusto-Tiberiani  *,  written  by 
Giuseppe  Feola  in  1830. 

The  first  observations  on  the  geology  of  the  island 
of  Capri,  we  owe  to  Pelliccia  ^  who  in  his  work  treated 
principally  of  the  separation  of  the  island  from  the 
mainland.  A  few  years  afterwards  Breislak  ^  described 
its  rocks  with  sufficient  accuracy ,  considering  that  he 
wrote  when  geology,  as  a  science,  was  in  its  infancy, 
and  there  were  no  serious  studies  on  the  subject.  Rez- 
zonico  did  not  add  anything  new  to  what  Breislak 
had  written,  while  in  1840  La  Cava  ^  made  known 
some  of  the  mistakes  of  the  latter,  and  was  the  first  to 
notice  the  extensive  deposits  of  volcanic  materials  ac- 

^  "  Richerche  istorico  fiiosofiche  suH'antico  stato  del  ramo 
degli  Appennini  che  termina  di  rincontro  Tisola  di  Capri  *. 

2  "  Topografia  fisica  della  Campania  ". 

3  "  Statistica  fisica  ed  economica  dell' isola  di  Capri  ". 


cumulated  on  the  surface  of  the  hmestone,  attributing 
their  origin  to  the  violent  Vesuvian  eruptions ,  or  to 
some  other  volcano  ,  which  may  have  since  dis- 
appeared beneath  the  sea.  More  accurate  studies, 
founded  on  modern  scientific  progress ,  are  due  to 
Oppenheim  ^  ,  Karsten  '^ ,  Walther  ^ ,  Steinman  ^ ,  De 
Stefano,  Bellini  -' ,  Canevaro,  and  recently  to  Giinther  ^, 
Parona^,  Airaghi  ^ ,  De  Angelis  d'Ossat^  and  to  so- 
me of  my  own  researches,  extending  over  many  years. 
The  island  of  Capri  is  formed  principally  of  un- 
stratified  limestone  of  a  light  greyish  colour,  which  con- 
stitutes the  frame-work ,  as  it  were ,  of  the  island.  It 
varies  in  some  localities  in  its  appearance ,  as  at  the 
base  of  Tiberio ,  and  on  the  other  side  of  the  island 
under  the  cliff  of  Anacapri ,  and  near  the  Grotto  of 
the  Madonna ,  where  it  has  an  oolitic  structure :  and 
near  the  '  Grotto  dell' Arco  ":  also  on  the  way  to  Lo 
Capo ;  near  the  road  to  Tiberio  it  is  mixed  with  white 

1  "  Beitrage  zur  Geologic  der  insel  Capri  und  der  Hal- 
binsei  Sorrent  ". 

2  "  Zur  Geologic  der  Insel  Capri  ". 

3  "  1  vulcani  sottomarini  del  Golfo  di  Napoli  ". 

4  "  Suir  eta  del  Calcare  Appenninico  di  Capri  ". 

5  "  Alcuni  appunti  per  la  Geologia  dell'lsola  di  Capri   ". 

6  "  Earth-Movements  in  the  Bay  of  Naples  ". 

"^  Sulla  presenza  di  calcari  a  Toucasia  carinata  nell'  isola 
di  Capri. 

Nuove  osservazioni  sulla  Fauna  de'  calcari  con  Ellipsactinidi 
deir  isola  di  Capri 

8  Echinodermi  infracretacei  dell'  isola  di  Capri. 

9  I  coralli  del  Calcare  di  Venassino  Isola  di  Capri 


spots  of  limestone  spar'  (due  to  fossils  enclosed).  In 
Anacapri ,  towards  Migliara ,  there  is  a  layer  of  dark 
grey  limestone  with  noduli  of  flint. 

In  the  valley ,  which  forms  the  lower  part  of  the 
island,  which  like  an  isthmus,  joins  the  cliffs  of  Anacapri 
with  the  hills  of  Capri,  overlaying  the  limestone  in 
irregular  stratifications ,  there  are  sandstone ,  marls , 
layers  of  limestone,  enclosing  globules  of  iron  pyrites 
and  a  siliciferous  limestone  of  greyish  or  greenish  co- 
lour. These  latter  materials  constitute ,  what  Italian 
geologists  call  the  formation  of  macigno :  and  these 
extend  down  the  two  shores  of  the  Grande  and  Pic- 
cola  Marinas.  Worthy  of  attention  too  is  a  bed  of 
sandstone,  at  the  little  beach  of  Caterola  on  the  north- 
ern side  of  the  island  ,  not  unlike  that  on  the  shore 
and  cliffs  of  Massa  Lubrense.  In  a  few  localities  the. 
limestone  of  the  island  is  stratified,  and  the  layers  are 
inclined  from  south  to  north,  and  at  angles  varying 
from  twenty -fire  to  seventy  degrees.  At  Punta  Ven- 
troso  the  inclination  is  twenty-five  to  thirty ;  at  the 
Green  Grotto  forty,  and  at  the  Marmolata  and  Punta 
Carena  from  sixty  to  seventy  degrees.  Banks  of  yellow 
or  dark  red  clay  ,  coloured  by  oxide  of  iron  ,  either 
pure  or  mixed  with  fragments  of  limestone ,  fill  the 
cavities  and  depressions  of  the  rocks,  and  on  these 
and  the  limestone  lie  large  beds  of  pozzolana,  lapilli, 
and  volcanic  ashes ,  which  in  some  places  attain  to 
several  metres  in  depth.  Similar  formations ,  hori- 
zontally stratified,  are  to  be  seen  also  in  some  of  the 
Grottos  near  the  sea. 

On  examining  fragments  of  the  limestone  of  Capri 
it  is  found  to  be  composed   of  an    infinity   of  closely 

32  THE   BOOK   GF   CAPRI 

compacted  marine  bodies,  which  however  are  so  amal- 
gamated with  the  rock,  that  it  is  almost  impossible  to 
isolate  them.  The  greater  part  can  be  best  examined 
at  the  surface,  where  fragments  corroded  by  the  action 
of  the  atmosphere  ,  show  embedded  fossils ,  slightly 
raised.  Among  those  which  can  be  recognised  ,  are 
some  belonging  to  the  genus,  Itieria,  Nerinea,  Ceritium, 
Terebratula,  pecten  etc.  Quite  recently  1  discovered  in 
the  limestone  of  Capo  di  sopra  Tiberio,  the  white  im- 
pressions (to  which  I  have  made  reference  before),  as 
belonging  to  shells  of  Toucasia  sarinata,  other  Cha- 
midae  and  large  Nerinee,  of  which  I  was  able  to  isolate 
some  fine  specimens.  Besides  these,  numerous  species 
of  corals  are  frequently  found  ,  together  with  Sphae- 
ractiniae  and  Ellipsactiniae,  all  of  them  being  important 
.for  determining  the  epoch  of  the  formation  of  the  rocks 
beneath  the  sea.  Of  equal  importance  are  two  layers 
of  fossils  which  1  noticed  a  few  years  ago  ^ ,  one  of 
them  on  S.  Michele  ,  at  about  two  hundred  metres 
above  the  present  level  of  the  sea,  corresponding  with 
an  ancient  sea-beach  at  the  same  level  at  Lo  Capo  di 
sopra  Tiberio,  with  characteristic  conglomerate  of  round- 
ed pebbles  :  the  other  at  the  level  of  the  town  at 
Pastena,  (138  metres),  and  also  to  the  east  of  the 
English  church,  corresponding  with  a  similar  layer  at 
Cesina,  on  the  north  side  of  S.  Michele.  Conglome- 
rate sand,  and  rounded  pebbles  found  there  were  the 
unmistakable  indications  of  a  sea-beach ,  the  shells 
found  are  of  the  same  kind,  as  those  still  living  in  the 
shallow  waters  of   the  sea   round  our  island ,  such  as 

'  Specimens   of  the  above    can   be    seen   in   my    Natural 
History  collection  at  Palazzo  Cerio. 


Columbella,  Conus,  Trochus,  Cerithium,  Phasianella  etc. 
some  of  these  still  retaining  their  colour. 

The  rock  upon  which  this  lower  shore  stood,  was 
perforated  by  lithophagi  ^ ,  the  shells  still  remaining  in 
their  holes. 

Scientists,  who  have  studied  the  geology  of  the 
island,  do  not  entirely  agree  as  to  the  age  of  its  for- 
mation. Oppenheim,  who  published  an  interesting  mo- 
nograph on  Capri,  believes  that  the  greater  part  of 
its  limestone  was  formed  in  the  Titonic  period  —  com- 
prised between  the  Jurassic  and  lower  cretaceous  epochs 
of  the  great  mesozoic  period.  He  sums  up  the  subject 
in  the  following  manner : 

"  In  the  Titonic  and  lower  cretaceous  epoch  the 
island  of  Capri  was  continually  being  formed  essen- 
tially by  organic  remains,  as  a  deposit  in  low  waters 
along  the  western  shore  of  the  Tyrrhenian  continent, 
and  by  the  slow  and  continual  lowering  of  the  bottom 
of  the  sea.  We  must  believe  that  it  had  been  mainland 
already  in  the  upper  cretaceous,  and  at  the  beginning 
of  the  eocene  period  it  underwent  a  series  of  convul- 
sions, caused  by  inundations,  and  from  the  phenomena 
of  the  formation  of  mountains,  in  consequence  of  which 
the  limestone  was  again  submerged.  At  that  period, 
eocenic  deposits  (macigni)  were  formed  at  low  depths ; 
the  sea  was  then  fifty  metres  above  the  present  level; 
the  connection  with  the  Sorrentine  coast  was  probably 
temporarify  interrupted  at  that  time,  and  in  this  manner 
the  "  Bocca   Piccola  "  was  formed,    which    was  once 

*  Shells  which  live  in  holes,  which  they  bore  in  the  rocks. 


more  filled   up,   and   again    reopened  at  a  very  recent 
epoch   \ 

"  We  must  then  admit  a  gradual  rising  of  the  island 
in  the  course  of  the  tertiary  period  ,  until  in  the  qua- 
ternary period  a  movement  was  produced  in  the  op- 
posite direction,  and  the  sea  rose  to  the  height  of  two 
hundred  metres.  ^  During  the  tertiary  period  the  island 
was  still  connected  with  the  mainland  of  the  Tyrrhenian 
sea  now  submerged  ,  and  it  was  united  again  to  the 
Sorrentine  coast,  recently  emerged.  Between  that  pe- 
riod and  the  quaternary  it  was  already  inhabited  by 
man  who  as  it  seems  kept  domestic  animals  such  as 
sheep ,  goats ,  and  chased  the  stags  supposed  to  be 
indigenous  to  Capri,  their  weapons  being  arrows  and 
lances  cut  in  obsidian.  ^ 

1  This  statement  is  consistent  with  the  fact  of  my  having 
found  on  S.  Michele  and  elsewhere  traces  of  a  sea  beach,  with 
shells  of  species  still  existing,  at  two  hundres  metres  above  the 
present  sea  level  (See  page  32). 

2  The  obsidian  implements,  alluded  to  by  Oppenheim,  and 
found  by  me  in  the  Fern  Grotto  above  the  volcanic  deposits, 
and  at  no  great  depth,  were  the  only  ones  known  to  him  at 
the  time  he  wrote  his  work  on  the  Geology  of  Capri.  These 
[  mplements  belonged  to  the  neolithic  age ,  and  were  conse- 
quently a  great  deal  more  recent  than  the  period  of  the  ca- 
tastrophe ,  which  caused  the  destruction  of  the  Tyrrhenian 
continent.  Lately  however  (Oct.  1905)  I  have  had  the  good 
fortune  to  discover  in  the  vally  of  Tragara,  immediately  to 
the  east  of  the  Hotel  Quisisana  ,  a  variety  of  extremely  pri- 
mitive flint  instruments,  together  with  the  remains  of  elephants, 
hippopotami,  rhinoceros,  and  other  vertebrate  animals.  These 
remains  were  found  beneath  the  eruptive  deposits,  and  on  the 
surface  of  horizontal  beds  of  red  clay,  which  had  doubtless 
at  some  period  formed   the  mud  of  an  ancient  lake,  showing. 


Then  occurred  the  great  catastrophe,  which  caused 
the  destruction  of  the  Tyrrhenian  continents  :  the  sea 
invaded  the  land  then  existing  :  large  tracts  ot  the  coast 
were  inundated,  and  the  Bays  of  Salerno  and  Naples 
were  formed.  At  the  same  time  the  volcanic  action  be- 
gan, and  many  craters  rose  on  the  margin  of  the  sub- 
merged land.  A  crater  that  made  its  appearance  between 
Capri  and  Ischia,  covered  the  former  with  trachytic 
deposits  "  ;  such  is  Oppenheim's  theory. 

Steinman,  and  Canevari,  who  annotated  and  tran- 
slated his  work,  comparing  the  limestone  of  our  island 
with  that  of  other  localities  containing  Ellispactinie 
concluded  that  the  island  belonged  to  the  Jurassic  for- 
mation. Major  Piatz  of  Munich,  who  examined  some 
corals,  found  by  Walther  at  Capri,  attributed  them  to 
the  same  period.  Baldacci  also  observed  that  the  lime- 
stone of  Capri,  containing  Ellipsactinie,  forms  almost 
all  the  mass  of  the  island,  and  came  to  the  same  con- 
clusion. However  further  observations  on  the  strati- 
graphic  position  of  Ellispactinie,  made  by  Bellini,  Di 
Stefano  \  Di  Lorenzo  -,  and  the  above  mentioned 
Baldacci,  threw  further  light  on  the  subject.  They  ob- 
served that  those  fossils  are  also  found  in  the  lower 
cretaceous,  while  the  Nerinee  and  Itierie  of  Capri  are 
found  also  in  the  formation  of  the  Urgonian  epoch  of 

that  at  some  remote  archaelothic  period,  man  existed  on  the 
island  of  Capri,  at  a  time  when  it  was  still  connected  with  the 
mainland.  For  further  information  consult  Appendix. 

1  "  Osservazioni  sulla  Geol.  del  Monte  Bulgheria  in  Pro- 
vincia  di  Salerno  ". 

2  "  Osservazioni  Geol.  sull'  Appennino  della  Basilicata 
'"Meridion.  ". 


Sicily.  The  limestone  of  Capri  must  therefore  be  attri- 
buted to  the  same  formation.  1  may  add,  that  my  own 
discovery  of  Toucasia  carinata,  and  Nerinea  gigantea 
in  the  limestone  of  Tiberio  finally  almost  settles  the 
question,  as  these  are  characteristic  of  the  Urgonian  pe- 
riod. The  sandstone,  marls ,  clay  etc,  in  the  valley 
between  the  hills  of  Capri  and  Anacapri,  are  eocenic 
(tertiary) ,  and  were  judged  byPuggard  ^  to  be  without 
fossils :  but  Walther  found  in  the  bank  of  sandstone  at 
Lo  Capo,  a  layer  rich  in  bryozoa  of  the  same  formation. 
My  naturalist  friend  Dr.  Bellini,  and  1,  collected  there 
Fucoids  and  Nummulites. 

Some  of  the  foregoing  indications  —  that  is  to  say, 
shells  of  the  same  species  as  still  exist  in  our  seas, 
rounded- pebbles  on  S.  Michele ,  Pastena  at  Capo  di 
sopra  etc.,  prove  that  our  island,  while  still  forming 
part  of  the  mainland,  subsided  again  under  the  sea , 
emerging  afterwards  at  four  distinct  periods.  At  first 
the  summits  of  S.  Michele ,  Telegrafo  ,  Castiglione,  Ti- 
berio, and  Monte  Solaro,  became  dry  land,  forming  a 
small  archipelago  of  islets,  with  their  marine  life,  and 
their  shores  of  sand  and  pebbles.  The  inner  forces  of 
nature,  which  had  been  inactive  for  a  long  period,  once 
more  became  energetic,  and  produced  a  second  upward 
movement  of  the  crust  of  the  earth  ,  and  raised  the 
group  of  islets  to  the  level  at  which  the  town  of  Capri 
now  stands. 

Another  uplifting  occured  which  brought  the  island 
further  out  of  the  waters,  changes  which  probably  oc- 
cured   at   the  begining  of  the    quaternary  period.    At 

1  "  Description  geologique  de  la  Peninsule  de  Sorrento  ". 


this  time  the  volcanoes  of  the  Phlegrean  region,  Vesuvius, 
Ischia  (which  had  been  recently  formed)  and  a  volcano 
between  the  latter  island  and  Capri,  (which  has  since  disap- 
peared) displayed  great  activity,  throwing  and  scattering 
all  round,  their  sanidine  deposits,  part  of  which  fell  on 
our  island.  We  can  form  a  conception  of  these  con- 
vulsions by  examining  the  thickness  of  the  volcanic 
deposits.  Deep  beds  of  pure  pozzolana,  sometimes  in- 
terposed with  layers  of  ashes,  lapilli,  and  pumice  stone, 
bear  evidence  of  violent  eruptions  of  long  duration,  while 
the  alternations  of  strata  of  calcareous  fragments  and 
detritus  deposited  on  or  between  them,  indicate,  accor- 
ding to  their  depth,  long  or  short  periods  of  inaction. 

it  might  be  inferred  that  these  volcanic  convulsions 
were  the  cause  of  the  many  changes  in  the  surrounding 
continent  and  islands :  this  however  is  not  the  case : 
their  influence  being  relatively  small.  These  eruptions 
and  the  modifications  occuring  and  extending  to  a  far 
wider  region  of  land  and  sea,  were  all  the  consequence 
of  gigantic,  although  perhaps  slow,  and  continual  mo- 
vements of  the  earth's  crust,  to  which  are  also  to  be 
attributed  the  dislocations ,  the  irregular  formations  of 
our  island,  and  the  dips  in  the  stratification  of  its  lime- 
stone, which  being  originally  deposited  as  soft  mud  in 
the  depths  of  ancient  seas,  had  undoubtedly  formed  in 
horizontal  layers.  It  is  not  possible  to  ascertain  which 
of  these  convulsions  caused  the  separation  of  the  Sor- 
rentine  Peninsula. 

Centuries  elapsed,  the  phenomena  which  made  the 
crust  of  the  earth  so  unstable,  although  not  entirely 
subdued,  had  lost  a  great  deal  of  their  energy.  The 
period  in  which  glaciers  had  covered   the  greater  part 

38  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

of  Europe,  and  which  left  even  on  this  island  traces  of 
their  existence,  had  ceased  ^. 

The  mild  temperature  favoured  a  rich  vegetation, 
the  dense  woods  afforded  shelter  to  the  wild  stag,  the 
hog,  the  goat,  and  other  animals.  Primitive  man,  who 
had  existed  for  ages  in  the  surrounding  regions ,  and 
even  in  Capri  at  a  time  when  the  island  formed  a  part 
of  the  continent  —  a  fact  which  is  proved  by  the  disco- 
very of  flint  instruments,  and  the  bones  of  elephants 
&c.  alluded  to  above —  found  refuge  in  its  grottos,  and 
lived  by  hunting,  fishing,  and  probably  even  by  culti- 
vating the  virgin  soil.  Abundant  proofs  of  its  existence 
in  the  second  period  of  the  stone  age,  were  found  as 
before  stated  in  the  Fern  Grotto,  at  the  Parate,  and 
other  localities,  in  the  form  of  primitive  obsidian  and 
flint  implements  ,  bones  of  various  animals,  land  and 
marine  shells,  and  the  bones  of  fish,  Among  these  were 
also  five  or  six  human  lower  jaws,  and  other  human 
bones.  While  examining  these  1  could  not  help  putting 
to  myself  the  question  whether  our  neolithic  man  was 
anthropophagous.  This  subject  has  been  discussed 
already  by  eminent  anthropologists,  as  discoveries  of 
a  similar  character  have  been  made  in  other  parts  of 
Italy,  and  my  fancy  turned  to  the  fable  of  the  Sirens. 

We  have  now  reached  the  historic  period.  Phoe- 
nicians and  Greeks  occupied  the  island,  and  these  gave 

1  I  arrived  at  this  conclusion  by  examining  buried  rocks 
(  brought  to  light  for  building  purposes )  some  of  which  were 
highly  polished,  while  others  had  long  parallel  grooves  cut  in 
them  by  the  moving  ice,  which  contained  stones  embedded  ; 
these  stones  being  flat  and  polished  were  anciently  used  for 
paving  streets. 


place  to  tbe  Romans.  Imposing  ruins ,  scattered  over 
the  island,  bear  evidence  of  the  magnificent  buildings, 
which  the  latter  erected.  A  careful  examination  of  some 
of  those  standing  near  the  sea,  (or  covered  by  it)  and 
of  certain  grottos  show  traces  of  their  having  been 
submerged  at  a  comparatively  recent  period.  A  deep 
groove  (produced  by  the  action  of  the  sea)  which  is 
noticeable  all  around  the  base  of  the  island  at  levels 
varying  from  three  to  four  metres,  and  now  beyond  the 
waterline ,  is  an  indication  of  geological  phenomena, 
which  have  occurred  within  the  last  twenty  centuries  of 
our  era.  Nor"  is  it  to  be  wondered  at ,  for  there  are 
not  wanting  facts  to  prove  the  instability  of  the  earth's 
crust.  The  north-eastern  coast  of  Scandinavia  is  slowly 
emerging  from  the  water ;  on  the  southern  side  it  is 
subsiding ;  whereas  Greenland  is  rising  on  its  north- 
western side,  and  south-west  it  is  dipping  for  a  length 
of  over  two  hundred  leagues.  The  coast  of  Scotland 
on  the  north  is  emerging,  while  that  of  the  south  part 
of  England  is  being  slowly  encroached  on  by  the 
sea .  In  the  Mediterranean  ,  the  coast  of  central  and 
northern  Italy  are  sinking  at  the  rate  of  from  fifteen 
to  forty  centimetres  per  century.  We  need  not  go  far 
to  prove  this  geological  fact ,  the  Temple  of  Serapis 
at  Pozzuoli  (a  few  miles  West  of  Naples),  with  its  co- 
lumns still  standing,  places  it  beyond  doubt  that  the 
temple  was  built  above  the  level  of  the  sea.  There  is 
evidence  that  the  temple  was  submerged  to  the  depth 
of  seven  metres  for  a  considerable  period,  and  then 
slowly  re-emerged. 

Mr.  R.  T.  Giinther  F.  R.  G.  S.  has  recently  published 
an  erudite  and  exhaustive  report  of  the  "  Earth-Move- 

40  THE    BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

ments  in  the  Bay  of  Naples  ",  which  was  read  by  him 
at  a  Meeting  of  the  Royal  Geographical  Society,  on 
Feb.  9th  1903,  and  published  in  the  "  Geographical 
Journal  "  for  August  and  September  1903.  Mr.  Giin- 
"  ther  comes  to  the  conclusion  that  "  whereas  there 
"  is  an  abundant  evidence  that  the  Island  of  Capri  has 
"  undergone  very  considerable  changes  in  level,  there 
"  is  no  evidence  that  the  level  of  the  sea  has  altered. 
"  The  land  has  remained  nearly  stationary  at  its  pre- 
"  sent  level  for  a  long  enough  period  to  allow  of  the 
"  formation  of  erosion  along  the  water  line.  At  some 
"  previous  period  (post-Roman)  the  land  also  remained 
"  stationary  in  a  lower  position  at  the  level  indicated 
"  by  the  22  to  12  feet  water-line —  i.  e.  the  land  has 
"  risen  22  feet  at  the  East  end,  but  only  12  feet  at  the 
"  West  end.  The  land  was  at  a  level  sufficiently  high 
"  to  raise  the  large  aperture  of  the  Blue  Grotto  par- 
"  tially  above  water,  and  to  lift  all  low  sites  with  Ro- 
"  man  buildings,  such  as  that  at  the  Grotto  Arsenale, 
**  sufficiently  above  the  water  to  make  them  suited  to 
"  their  purposes.  Thus,  the  Tiberian  land-level  must 
"  have  been  at  least  20  feet  higher  than  the  present. 
"  At  a  still  earlier  epoch  the  land  must  have  been  at 
"  a  level  high  enough  for  the  erosion  of  the  floors  of 
"  the  Blue  Grotto,  of  Faraglioni  rocks,  and  of  all  other 
"  partially  submerged  caves.  Land  must  have  been 
"  at  levels  low  enough  for  the  roofs  of  the  caves  to 
"  have  been  awash.  Thus  the  land  must  now  stand 
'^  higher  by  the  altitude  of  the  roofs  of  the  caves  above 
"  sea-level  ". 

As  I  have  already  treated  in  this  chapter  of  three 
previous  remote  upheavals,  which  left  undoubted  traces. 


I  will  follow  Qiinther,  summarising  that  portion  of  his 
paper  which  refers  to  comparatively  recent  changes  of 
the  level  of  Capri  during  post-Roman  times.  He  begins 
his  argument  by  pointing  out  the  present  line  of  ero- 
sion on  the  rocks  which  runs  all  round  the  island  at 
the  sea-level:  this  furrow  is  about  a  foot  deep,  but  where 
the  rock  was  cracked  or  soft,  the  erosion  is  deeper, 
as  cavities  have  been  formed.  In  some  other  parts, 
similar  but  deeper  furrows  are  noticed ,  at  from  three 
to  five  metres  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  and  therefore 
beyond  its  reach  ,  while  innumerable  round  holes,  the 
work  of  mytil ,  are  visible  between  the  upper  and  the 
present  line  of  erosion,  undoubted  indications  of  that 
part,  having  been  under  water.  Such  marks  can  be 
traced  in  several  places ;  in  many  of  the  Grottos  at  the 
sea-level,  the  line  of  erosion  may  be  observed,  at  Cala 
di  Matromania  (reaching  its  greatest  height  i.  e.  five 
metres),  all  round  and  inside  the  lower  part  of  the  White 
Grotto,  on  the  western  side  of  the  Scoglio  di  Matro- 
mania, here  and  there  round  the  Faraglioni  rock,  and 
elsewhere.  On  the  south-western  side,  near  Punta  Ca- 
rena,  the  same  traces  of  erosion,  at  about  three  metres 
above  the  sea,  may  be  recognised  ,  showing  that  the 
island  did  not  rise  horizontally,  but  was  subjected  to 
the  same  tilting  movement,  which  caused  the  previous 
horizontal  layers  to  dip  in  more  remote  periods.  These 
marks  which  are  so  noticeable  in  many  places,  have 
disappeared  where  the  rock  has  crumbled,  or  has  been 
corroded  by  atmospheric  agents.  The  Scoglio  della 
Ricotta  on  the  north-eastern  side  near  the  Capo,  bears 
also  evident  traces  of  the  old  water-line.  Beside  these, 
furrows,  indications  of  old  beaches  containing  rounded 

42  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

pebbles  and  coarse  sand  may  be  seen  at  very  little 
height,  between  Punta  Ventroso  and  Carena.  It  is  of 
some  interest  to  decide  whether  these  changes  of  land- 
level  occured  after  the  Roman  dominion. 

I  will  follow  GiJnther's  argument.  Near  Punta  Tra- 
gara,  at  the  Unghia  Marina,  there  is  a  flight  of  steps 
cut  partly  in  the  rock,  and  partly  made  of  solid  ma- 
sonry, which  is  now  about  three  metres  under  water. 
Evidently  it  must  have  been  above  the  sea-level,  when 
it  was  constructed.  At  Palazzo  a  Mare,  there  are  re- 
mains of  an  immense  building,  locally  known  as  Bagni 
di  Tiberio,  on  account  of  the  building  having  a  wing, 
which  is  partly  near  the  beach,  and  partly  in  the  sea. 
A  large  room,  built  of  very  strong  masonry,  is  specially 
to  be  noted,  the  original  pavement  of  which,  now  about 
forty  centimetres  above  the  sea-level,  has  been  almost 
entirely  destroyed  by  the  action  of  the  waves ,  and  a 
drain  has  been  exposed  under  the  North  wall  at  about 
one  metre  and  a  half  under  water.  There  are  also 
pipes  in  the  walls,  which  are  continued  under  water  at 
a  depth  of  little  more  than  a  metre  and  a  half.  These 
drains  and  pipes,  at  the  time  of  their  construction, 
must  have  been  above  the  sea  level,  and  it  is  evident 
that  there  has  been  a  subsidence  of  the  soil  on  which 
the  building  stood,  carrying  it  partly  under  water. 

On  the  western  side  of  the  Grande  Marina,  a  sewer 
is  to  be  observed  under  the  cliff  near  the  beach,  which 
probably  conveyed  to  the  sea  the  drainage  of  a  great 
part  of  the  northern  side  of  the  old  town.  It  is  easy 
to  inspect  a  small  part  of  this  drain  ,  and  we  notice 
that  its  inclination  has  undergone  a  change :  instead  of 
inclining  towards   the  sea,  it  dips  in   a  contrary  direc- 


tion  at  an  angle  of  twenty  five  degrees.  Colonel 
Mackowen  ^  cites  the  position  of  this  drain  as  a  proof 
of  a  considerable  subsidence  having  taken  place  between 
S.  Michele  and  Monte  Solaro,  since  the  Roman  period. 
But  when  it  is  remembered  that  other  ruins  in  the 
neighbourhood  are  perfectly  upright  and  perpendicular, 
that  the  acqueduct  of  the  Fontana  at  the  Grande  Ma- 
rina still  preserves  its  original  inclination,  and  serves 
its  purpose  to  this  day,  that  the  walls  of  Palazzo  a 
Mare  still  keep  their  perpendicular  position,  we  can 
without  looking  for  further  proofs,  safely  assert  that  the 
dip  of  the  Cloaca  is  due  to  a  very  limited  local  dislo- 
cation, caused  either  by  some  earthquake  or  by  some 
exceptionally  heavy  storm,  the  waves  undermining  the 
hardened  puzzolana  ,  of  which  the  drain  is  con- 

Capri  has  three  places,  were  ships  can  find  shelter 
in  heavy  weather  the  so-called  Porto  di  Tragara  on  the 
east,  the  Piccola  Marina  on  the  south  side ,  and  the 
Grande  Marina  on  the  north  side.  The  Porto  di  Tra- 
gara, although  not  serviceable  in  all  weathers  ,  could 
give  shelter  to  vessels  during  westerly  gales ;  and  in 
fair  weather  the  Roman  galleys  could  ship  their  sup- 
plies and  water.  There  are  on  the  rocks  looking  eastward, 
still  to  be  seen  remains  of  Roman  buildings  which  in 
heavy  storms  are  washed  by  the  waves;  it  is  evident 
that  these  buildings  must  have  stood  higher,  and  beyond 
the  reach  of  the  sea,  when  they  were  built.  Large  leaden 
pipes  were  found  embedded  in  the  cliffs  of  Punta  Tra- 
gara, probably  in  connection  with  immense  reservoirs, 

1  " 

Capri,  Mackowen,  p.  5 

44  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

which  stood  on  the  Castiglione ,  and  on  S.  Michele, 
and  ran  along  the  present  Via  Tragara.  A  few  years 
ago  fragments  of  rusty  iron,  which  served  to  hold  rings 
to  moor  ships,  could  be  seen  in  holes  cut  in  the  rock 
round  the  Porto  di  Tragara.  At  the  Piccola  Marina, 
or  Mulo,  on  the  "  Sirena  "  there  are  traces  of  Roman 
masonry:  this  rock,  which  juts  out  into  the  sea  is  now 
washed  by  it  during  storms.  In  Roman  times  it  must 
have  stood  higher  above  the  sea-level,  and  afforded  an 
even  more  effectual  shelter,  than  it  does  at  present, 
during  northerly  gales.  At  the  Grande  Marina,  looking 
from  the  terrace  of  the  Hotel  Continental,  large  square 
masses  of  masonry  can  be  seen  in  the  sea,  which  re- 
semble other  similar  constructions  in  the  surrounding 
bays,  and  it  is  easy  to  identify  them  as  part  of  an 
ancient  breakwater.  This  breakwater  evidently  served 
to  shelter  the  anchorage  from  the  northerly  and  west- 
erly storms.  It  certainly  stood  above  sea-level ,  and 
the  subsidence  of  the  soil  brought  it  below  that  level, 
while  the  silting  of  sand,  and  the  fall  of  debris  from 
the  cliffs  above,  filled  up  the  harbour,  which  in  Roman 
times  must  have  been  much  deeper  than  it  is  at  pre- 
sent. Further  evidence  might  be  produced  to  prove 
the  change  of  level  to  which  the  island  was  subject 
during  historical  times,  but  I  will  only  add  the  result  of 
the  observations  of  such  eminent  Italian  scientists  as 
Marquis  Ruffo  \  Melloni,  Belli,  and  others  on  the  Blue 
Grotto,  which  will  serve  the  double  purpose  of  giving 
a  condensed  description  of  the  Grotto,  and  of  proving 
that  it  is  to  earth-movements,  that  we  are  indebted  for 

1  "  Sulla  Grotta  azzurra  di  Capri  ". 


the  wonderful  luminous  phenomenon,  which  has  made 
this  cave,    and   the   island   of  Capri  celebrated  all  the 

world  over. 


This  celebrated  cave  is  on  the  northern  side  of 
the  island,  and  stands  at  the  foot  of  a  precipitous  cliff, 
which  plunges  almost  perpendicularly  into  very  deep 
water.  It  can  be  entered  only  by  small  boats  through 
a  natural  arched  entrance  of  which  only  eighty  or 
ninety  centimetres  remain  above  water:  the  side  walls  are 
little  more  than  one  metre  apart,  although  they  widen 
out  under  water,  and  at  the  depth  of  about  one  metre 
a  platform,  or  kind  of  sill  is  formed.  Ou  account  of 
the  narrow  entrance,  access  to  the  Grotto  is  only  pos- 
sible in  very  calm  weather.  As  soon  as  the  boat  has 
crossed  the  low  archway,  it  enters  a  large  oval-shaped 
cave,  which  according  to  the  measurements  given  by 
Marquis  Ruffo  is  fifty-one  metres  in  length,  twenty-seven 
in  width,  and  about  twenty-one  metres  above  the  sea- 
level  in  height;  the  sides  of  the  Grotto  go  down  almost 
perpendicularly  to  the  bottom:  the  greatest  depth  being 
about  twenty-one  metres.  As  the  measurements  given 
by  the  numerous  writers  on  the  Grotto  vary  conside- 
rably, Mr.  Harold  E.  Trower  and  I  decided  to  take  very 
careful  measurements  and  soundings  ourselves,  with  the 
following  results,  length  of  the  Grotto  from  the  wall 
of  the  inner  landing  place  to  the  entrance  (inside  wall) 
52  metres,  maximum  width  28  metres.  Depth  in  the 
centre  of  the  Grotto  21  metres  40  centimetres. 

On  the  right  side  of  the  entrance,  at  a  depth  of 
about  two  metres,  another  large  opening  in  the  rock 
is  to  be  observed,  in  communication  with  the  Grotto, 
which  measures  at  its  widest   part   about   ten    metres. 


The  presence  of  this  submerged  arch  causes  the 
phenomenon  of  the  blue  light,  which  renders  the 
Grotto  unique.  The  Grotto,  which  faces  North  ,  does 
not  derive  any  direct  light  from  the  sun ,  and  if  the 
small  entrance ,  which  is  scarcely  noticeable  on  the 
surface  of  the  water ,  were  the  only  aperture ,  very 
little  light  would  be  admitted ,  and  at  a  short  distance 
from  the  opening  ,  there  would  be  almost  total 
darkness,  but  the  light  enters  through  the  submerged 

It  is  a  recognised  scientific  fact,  that  sea  water, 
when  seen  in  small  quantities,  appears  perfectly  clear 
and  colourless,  but  in  large  bodies  it  has  a  perceptible 
green  or  blue  tint,  according  to  its  depth.  The  same 
is  the  case  with  the  water  of  lakes ,  when  not  mixed 
with  mud  or  vegetable  matter.  In  order  to  enter  the 
cave,  the  light  must  pass  through  the  sea  water,  which 
all  round  Capri  is  perfectly  clear ,  and  of  the  deepest 
blue  colour.  The  white  rays  passing  through  this' 
body  of  blue  water  are  refracted ,  the  blue  water 
absorbs  the  red  and  yellow  rays,  transmitting  rays  of 
blue  colour,  which  are  reflected  on  the  walls,  and  roof 
of  the  north  side  of  the  Grotto,  while  its  southern  side 
retains  its  original  colour:  the  phenomenon  is  seen  to 
best  advantage ,  when  a  boat  or  screen  intercepts  the 
small  amount  of  light,  which  enters  through  the  upper 

At  the  back  of  the  Grotto  there  is  an  opening  in 
the  rock  about  one  metre  above  the  sea-level,  and  on 
landing  a  narrow  passage  is  discovered,  which  gradually 
leads  upward  for  a  distance  of  over  150  metres.-  This 
passage  has  been  visited    by   many   explorers ,    either 


from  curiosity ,  or  to  ascertain  whether  it  would  be 
possible  to  clear  a  pathway  to  the  ruins  of  a  Tiberian 
Palace,  which  stood  on  the  plain  of  Damecuta ,  and 
with  which  this  passage  may  have  been  in  communi- 
cation in  Roman  times.  The  visitors  to  this  passage 
have  however  only  been  able  to  ascertain  ,  that  it  is 
possible  to  penetrate  a  certain  distance  ,  when  it 
becomes  narrower,  and  very  difficult  to  ascend,  that 
the  temperature  inside  is  some  degrees  higher  than 
that  of  the  outside  atmosphere ;  in  addition  to  this , 
large  boulders  block  the  way ,  any  attempt  to  remove 
them  being  impossible,  as  it  would  result  in  the  fall 
of  the  low  roof  of  the  passage ,  which  is  formed  of 
loose  and  crumbling  rock  and  earth  ,  and  the  daring 
explorer  would  either  be  buried  alive,  or  crushed  to 
death.  It  is  very  probable  that  torrential  rains,  earth- 
quakes ,  and  other  causes ,  have  in  the  course  of 
centuries  caused  these  blocks  to  fall  and  obstruct  the 
passage ,  which  must  always  have  been  narrow ,  but 
was  possibly  practicable. 

Inside  the  Grotto  borings  of  mytili  are  observed, 
and  on  the  sides  almost  as  high  as  the  vault ;  on  the 
other  hand  submerged  steps ,  which  must  have  been 
above  sea-level  when  constructed  ,  and  traces  of  the 
chisel  near  the  entrance  to  the  passage,  prove  that  the 
Grotto  must  have  been  known  to  the  Romans,  and 
that  there  were  changes  of  the  sea-level  at  a  time 
posterior  to  their  dominion.  No  ancient  writer,  makes 
any  mention  of  the  Grotto,  or  of  the  phenomenon  of 
blue  light,  because  in  all  probability  this  phenomenon 
did  not  then  exist ,  and  the  Grotto  was  in  no  way 
different  from  the  many  other  Grottos  to  be  found 
round  the  coast. 

48  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Marquis  Ruffo,  a  learned  Neapolitan  scientist,  from 
whom  we  have  already  quoted,  was  the  first  to  study 
the  light  effects  of  the  Blue  Grotto  ,  from  a  scientific 
point  of  view.  He  published  an  interesting  paper , 
which  was  read  before  the  Royal  Academy  of  Naples 
in  1836,  in  which  he  contends  that  the  entrance  to 
the  Grotto  during  the  Roman  period ,  stood  much 
higher  above  the  sea-level  than  at  present,  consequently 
the  light,  passing  freely  into  the  Grotto,  overcame  the 
effect  of  the  blue  light,  which  entered  from  the  opening 
under  water,  and  which  had  very  little  effect,  and  was 
not  sufficiently  conspicous  to  attract  attention. 

Melloni  ^  another  scientist  who  also  studied  the 
light  of  the  Blue  Grotto,  and  read  a  scientific  paper 
on  the  subject  before  the  Royal  Academy  of  Sciences 
of  Naples  ,  in  concluding  his  lecture  states  that,  on 
account  of  the  periodic  relative  variations  of  the  level 
of  the  earth  ,  and  that  of  the  sea ,  and  accepting  the 
result  of  accurate  observations  made  by  Nicolini  (who 
proved  that  in  historic  times ,  between  the  coast  of 
Amalfi  and  the  promontory  of  Gaeta,  the  sea  succes- 
sively reached  a  level  of  six  metres,  above  or  below, 
the  present  coast  line)  —  he  came  to  the  conclusion 
that,  Capri  had  been  subjected  to  the  same  variations  , 
and  endorsed  the  theory  of  Ruffo  that ,  the  opening 
of  the  Grotto  at  the  beginning  of  the  Christian  era 
was  entirely  out  of  water.  Melloni  also  calculated  that 
eight  or  nine  centuries  later ,  the  Grotto  was  entirely 
submerged  and  consequently  was  inaccessible,  and  its 
very  existence  forgotten. 

1  "  Sulla  luce  azzura  che  illumina  la  Grotta  di  Capri  ". 
Rendiconto  dei  lavori  dell'  Ace.  delle  Scienze  Sez.  della  Soc. 
Reale  Borbonica  di  Napoli  anno  V.  1846. 

Capri  under  Augustus. 

"  Ecquid  iis    videretur  mimum  vitae    com- 
mode transegisse  ".  (Suet.  Aug.,  XCIX). 

The  first  historical  mention  of  Capri  is  an  account 
of  the  first  visit  of  the  Emperor  Augustus  in  29  B.  C. 
and  of  the  lucky  omen  which  greeted  his  landing.  Like 
a  young  beauty,  who  has  hitherto  hidden  her  charms 
in  happy  obscurity,  at  the  touch  of  the  imperial  wand 
Capri  was  raised  to  a  high  place,  she  became  an  object 
of  envy  to  all  the  vast  Roman  Empire ,  and  for  a  pe- 
riod of  over  fifty  years ,  was  the  cynosure  of  millions 
of  jealous,  watchful  eyes,  envious  and  suspicious  of 
her  good  fortune,  in  being  the  favourite  of  two  success- 
ive Emperors,  Augustus  and  Tiberius. 

Weichardt  says;  "  In  the  year  29  B.C.  on  his  return 
from  Asia,  and  shortly  before  his  three  days  of  trium- 
phal festivities  at  Rome,  Augustus  (then  33  years  old) 
came  to  Capri,  whether  for  the  first  time  or  not ,  is 
unknown.  He  was  shown  an  old  stone-oak  (Quercus 
Sessiflora,  S.  M.)  which  had  hitherto  appeared  withered, 
but  had  at  his  coming,  put  forth  fresh  shoots.  In  conse- 
quence thereof,  Augustus  who  was  superstitious,  regard- 


50  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

ed  the  occurence  as  a  good  omen;  and  having  taken  a 
liking  for  the  island,  he  asked  to  have  it  exchanged  for 
Ischia ,  although  the  latter  was  much  larger  and  more 
fruitful  than  Capri.  It  was  in  this  wise  that  Capri,  which 
had  belonged  to  Naples  since  the  year  326  B.  C,  passed 
into  imperial  possession  \  ("  Capri  ^  Weichardt  p.  33 
and  Suet.  Aug.  Chap  XCll). 

In  the  account  of  Suetonius,  the  gist  of  which  is 
related  with  sufficient  accuracy  by  Weichardt,  a  very  in- 
teresting side-light  is  thrown  on  the  superstitious,  or 
at  any  rate  highly  imaginative  side,  of  Augustus.  He 
landed  quite  by  chance  at  Capri  ,  as  he  might  have 
done  at  Ischia,  Procida  or  Ponza,  but  a  happy  omen 
of  hopeful  portent  instantly  occurred:  nature  herself  dis- 
regarded her  inviolable  laws  to  do  him  honour ,  and 
bid  him  welcome,  and  the  dead  bough  blossomed  in 
homage  to  the  Dictator  of  the  world.  The  Emperor 
was  delighted,  his  pride  was  flattered,  he  had  at  last 
found  a  spot,  where  nature  in  harmony  with  man, 
bowed  to  his  will,  and  acknowledged  his  sway.  In  fu- 
ture he  would  take  Capri  to  his  imperial  bosom  ,  he 
would  shower  kingly  gifts  upon  her ,  he  would  crown 
her  rugged  cliffs  with  majestic  palaces,  tame  her  forbid- 
ding mountains  with  roads,  and  with  ample  supply  of 
water,  make  his  favourite  bright,  and  deck  her  with 

"  In  the  davs  of  Augustus  we  find  that,  there  was 
on  the  part  of  Romans  of  rank  and  wealth,  a  decided 
preference  for  residing  on  islands.  The  exciting  life  in 
Rome  induced  statesmen  and  others  of  high  rank  to 
seek  rest  and  strength  for  fresh  labours  by  taking  their 
ease  from  time  to  time  on  beautifully  situated  islands. 


Brutus  resided  at  the  country-seat  of  Lucullus  at  Nisida, 
Antonius  lived  before  the  battle  of  Actium  at  Samos 
for  a  long  while,  and  to  this  place  Augustus  also  retired 
after  the  victory  of  Actium.  Agrippa  lived  at  Lesbos 
and  long  before  he  became  emperor,  Tiberius  went 
into  seven  years  of  voluntary  banishment  at  Rho- 
des, devoting  himself  while  there  to  his  studies  with 
friends  of  like  mind.  As  emperor  however,  as  is  known 
to  us,  he  spent  the  last  eleven  years  of  his  life  at  Ca- 
pri \    C  Capri  "  Weichardt  p.  32). 

It  has  been  assumed  by  all  writers  of  the  eighteenth 
and  nineteenth  centuries,  that  the  numerous  palaces,  vil- 
las, acqueducts  and  roads,  which  we  see  today  scattered 
over  the  entire  face  of  the  island  of  Capri,  were  the 
work  of  Tiberius.  "  Nothing  exists  to  justify  this  as- 
sumption—on the  contrary,  it  may  be  accepted  as  a  fact 
that  the  whole  or  at  least  the  majority  of  the  villas  by 
the  sea  and  at  the  mid-altitudie  were  built  by  Augustus, 
and  that  his  successor  Tiberius,  only  took  over  and  used 
them,  it  is,  however  possible  that  he  partially  altered 
or  enlarged  them  enough  to  suit  his  own  purposes. 
Augustus  was  as  we  know,  next  to  Adrian,  the  emper- 
or most  fond  of  building.  Tiberius  on  the  other  hand 
built  but  little,  and  only  that  which  was  absolutely  ne- 
cessary, or  seemed  to  him  to  be  a  matter  of  honour  ". 
("  Capri  ",  Weichardt,  p.  62,).  We  will  again  have  re- 
course to  Weichardt;  "  Augustus  who  owned  the  island 
for  nearly  half  a  century  ,  had  acquired  it  in  his 
young,  enterprising  and  happy  days  —  because  it  spe- 
cially pleased  him — is  much  more  likely  to  have  given 
expression  to  this  predilection  by  building,  than  the 
misanthropic  Tiberius  who  being  near  old  age ,   came 

52  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

to  Capri,  in  order  to  withdraw  himself  from  the  world 
he  so  hated.  "  ("  Capri  ",  Weichardt,  p.  67).  On  the 
other  hand,  and  in  strong  contrast  to  the  passion  for 
building  possessed  by  Augustus,  Suetonius  tells  us  that 
Tiberius  "  during  the  whole  of  his  government ,  never 
erected  any  noble  edifice:  for  the  only  things  he  did 
undertake,  namely  building  the  temple  of  Augustus, 
and  restoring  Pompey's  Theatre,  he  left  at  last  after 
many  years  unfinished.  "     (Suet,  Tib.  Chap.  XLVll). 

Tiberius'  connection  with  Capri  lasted  only  during 
his  declining  years;  he  came  here  an  old  man,  tired  of 
life  and  its  vanity,  seeking  relief  from  the  anxieties  of 
Empire,  and  the  leisure  to  indulge  his  favourite  pur- 
suits of  learning  and  astronomy.  Is  it  likely  or  reason- 
able to  suppose  that,  he  would  have  "  turned  the  island 
into  a  vast  building  area,  with  all  the  confusion  attend- 
ant thereon:  that  he  should  have  converted  the  har- 
bour into  a  landing  place  for  ships  laden  with  building 
materials,  and  that  the  whole  of  the  noisy  activity  con- 
sequent on  building  operations ,  the  hammering  of  the 
stonemasons,  the  shouts  of  the  load-drawing  labourers, 
should  have  been  allowed  to  disturb  the  much  needed 
calm  and  quiet  of  the  island?  "  (Weichardt  p.  67). 

Tacitus  (Annals,  4,  67)  uses  these  words;  "  Sed  tum 
Tiberius  duodecim  villarum  nominibus  et  molibus  inse- 
derat  \  Now  this  single  word  "  insederat  "  is  abso- 
lutely the  only  stone,  and  a  very  feeble  and  fallible 
pebble,  on  which  almost  all  previous  writers  have  tried 
to  build  their  theory,  that  "  Tiberius  built  on  Capri 
twelve  palaces  ".  Let  us  examine  the  exact  meaning 
of  the  word:  according  to  Smith's  Latin  Dictionary , 
the  primary    meaning  of  "  insederat  "  is  "  to  sit  down, 


or  settle  on  ",  (as  birds  perch  "  insessum  din's  avibus 
Capitolium  "  Tac.A.  12,  43,).  Secondly  the  word  means, 
""  to  settle  in  a  place,  in  order  to  dwell  there  ".  Third- 
ly "  to  occupy,  keep  possession  of  a  place  " . 

There  is  not  a  suggestion  in  any  of  these  mean- 
ings, capable  of  supporting  the  assertion,  that  Tiberius 
built  or  erected  a  single  Villa  or  Palace.  The  simple 
and  obvious  construction  of  the  text  is  that  he  "  took 
possession  of  certain  villas,  which  had  been  previously 
erected  ^  it  is  of  course  possible  that  he  may  have 
changed  or  adapted  some  of  these  Villas  to  his  own 
taste,  which  was  very  different  from  that  of  Augustus, 
who  was  of  a  genial  sociable  temperament  and  loved 
contact  with  his  fellow-man. 

The  last  visit  of  Augustus ,  of  which  we  have  any 
historical  details,  was  paid  by  the  Emperor  when  he 
was  suffering  from  the  disease  (diarrhoea)  to  which  he 
finally  succumbed  a  few  days  later.  But  though  shaken 
in  health,  and  old,  we  find  the  Emperor  still  full  of 
vivacity  and  simple  enjoyment  in  the  unsophisticated 
pleasures  of  others.  "  He  went  round  the  coast  of 
Campania  and  the  adjacent  islands  and  spent  four  davs 
in  that  of  Capri,  where  he  gave  himself  up  entirely  to 
repose  and  relaxation.  Happening  to  sail  by  the  bay 
of  Puteoli,  the  passengers  and  mariners  aboard  a  ship 
of  Alexandria,  just  then  arrived,  clad  all  in  white,  with 
chaplets  upon  their  heads,  and  offering  him  incense,  load- 
ed him  with  praises  and  joyful  acclamation,  crying  out; 
"  By  you  we  live,  by  you  we  sail  securely,  by  you  we 
enjoy  our  liberty  and  our  fortunes  ";  at  which  he  being 
greatly  pleased ,  distributed  to  each  of  those  who 
attended  him,  forty  gold  pieces,  requiring  from  each  an 


assurance  on  oath,  not  to  employ  the  sum  given  them 
in  any  other  way,  than  the  purchase  of  Alexandrian 
merchandise.  And  during  several  days  afterwards  he 
distributed  Togae  and  Pallia,  (the  Toga  was  a  loose 
woollen  robe,  which  covered  the  whole  body ,  close  at 
the  bottom,  but  open  at  the  top  down  to  the  girdle, 
and  without  sleeves:  the  Pallium  was  a  cloak  generally 
worn  by  the  Greeks  both  men  and  women)  among 
other  gifts,  on  condition  that  the  Romans  should  use 
Greek,  and  the  Greeks,  the  Roman  dress  and  language. 
He  likewise  constantly  attended  to  see  the  boys  perform 
their  exercises,  according  to  an  ancient  custom  still  con- 
tinued at  Capri.  He  gave  them  likewise  an  entertainment 
in  his  presence;  and  not  only  permitted ,  but  required 
frpm  them  the  utmost  freedom  in  jesting,  and  scrambling 
for  fruit,  victuals  and  other  things  which  he  threw  amongst 
them,  in  a  word  he  indulged  himself  in  all  the  ways 
of  amusement  he  could  contrive  ".  (Suet.  Aug. 
Chap.  XCVIil). 

Suetonius  then  proceeds  to  give  us  an  account  of 
the  Emperor's  interest  in,  and  observations  on,  the 
company  of  people,  who  had  assembled  at  the  tomb 
of  Megasbas,  which  will  be  found  quoted  in  full,  in  the 
Chapter  on  Monacone. 

A  few  days  later,  the  kindly  old  citizen-Emperor, 
who  had  outlived  the  splendours  of  his  youthful  re- 
nown, lay  dead  in  the  arms  of  Livia  at  Nola.  Thus 
we  see,  that  to  the  very  last  days  of  his  life,  Augus- 
tus preserved  not  only  his  bright  and  happy  spirits, 
but  what  is  truly  remarkable  in  a  man  of  his  age 
(in  his  seventy-sixth  year,)  suffering  as  he  was  from 
a  depressing   and  disquieting    disease,    he   joined  with 


the  buoyant  spirit  of  a  bright  ingenuous  boy  in  the 
pranks  of  the  Capri  lads,  and  telh'ng  them  to  throw 
off  all  restraint,  and  to  think  of  him  as  an  equal, 
evidently  derived  much  'kindly  amusement  from  their 
struggles  to  secure  the  best  fruit ,  and  the  most  pre- 
cious prize.  He  was  fond  of  games  of  chance  , 
playing  for  small  sums  with  the  boys  or  with  his 

"  As  soon  as  the  civil  wars  were  ended,  he  gave 
up  riding  and  other  military  exercises  in  the  Campus 
Martins,  and  took  to  playing  at  ball,  or  foot-ball  :  but 
soon  afterwards  used  no  other  exercise  than  that  of 
going  abroad  in  his  litter  or  walking.  Towards  the  end 
of  his  walk  he  would  run,  leaping  wrapped  up  in  a 
short  cloak  or  cape.  For  amusement  he  would  some- 
times angle,  or  play  with  dice,  pebbles,  or  nuts,  with 
little  boys,  and  particulary  Moors  and  Syrians,  for  their 
beauty  or  amusing  talk  \    (Suet.  Aug.  Chap.  LXXXIIl). 

His  death  came  painlessly,  and  he  was  prepared 
for  it. 

"  The  closing  scene  of  this  illustrious  life  %  says 
Dean  Merivale,  "  has  been  portrayed  for  us  with  con- 
siderable minuteness,  it  is  the  first  natural  dissolution 
of  a  great  man  we  have  been  called  upon  to  witness, 
and  it  will  be  long,  I  may  add,  before  we  shall  assist 
at  another  ".  ("  Hist,  of  Romans  ",  Merivale,  vol.  IV 
p.  288). 

The  following  brief  but  excellent  account  of  the 
end  of  Augustus  is  taken  from  Baring-Gould;  "  At  Nola 
his  exhaustion  became  so  great  that  he  was  obliged  to 
take  to  his  bed.  Here  he  was  in  the  family  house  of 
the  Octavian  race,  and  he  was  placed  in  the  very  room 

56  THE    BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

in  which  his  father  had  died.  The  old  Emperor  did 
not  deceive  hifnself  with  hopes  of  recovery ;  he  was 
short  of  his  seventy-sixth  birthday  by  only  a  little  over 
a  month.  On  the  last  day  of  his  life,  after  inquiring 
whether  his  condition  had  aroused  commotions  in 
Rome,  which  he  feared,  knowing  the  hostility  of  the  rival 
parties  there,  and  being  satisfied  that  there  was  tran- 
quillity, he  asked  for  a  looking-glass,  and  fiad  his  hair 
put  straight,  and  something  done  to  his  cheeks,  that 
they  might  not  appear  as  hollow  as  the  dysentry  had 
made  them.  Then,  calling  in  his  friends,  and  making 
them  surround  his  bed,  he  asked  whether  they  thought, 
he  had  played  his  part  well  in  the  drama  of  life.  He 
immediately  added,  in  a  Greek  verse  with  which  Roman 
plays  usually  concluded:  "  Let  all  applaud  and  clap 
their  hands  with  joy  ".  After  that  he  dismissed  them 
and  inquired  of  Livia,  who  remained  at  his  side,  whether 
any  tidings  had  been  heard  of  Livilla,  the  daughter  of 
Drusus,  who  was  out  of  health.  Then  suddenly  he 
threw  his  arms  round  the  neck  of  Livia,  and  kissing 
her,  said,  ""  Livia!  live  mindful  of  our  union,  and  now 
farewell  "!  "  Then  he  gently  expired  without  pain,  and 
withont  a  struggle.  "  ("  Tragedy  of  Caesars  ",  Baring- 
Gould,  p.  220-221). 

"  By  his  peculiar  personality,  Augustus  was  able 
to  stamp  upon  the  Roman  Empire  a  character  which 
has  never  left  it;  he  made  a  religion  as  well  as  a  state; 
and  it  was  due  to  his  work,  and  to  his  sense  of  the 
sacredness  of  his  work,  that  there  are  still  men  living 
in  England,  who  cannot  feel  happy  in  the  regulation 
of  what  they  believe  to  be  their  most  important  con- 
cerns ,  unless  they  are  assured  that   their    actions  are 


in  accordance  with  the  dictates  of  the  authority  across 
the  mountains  which  is  resident  in  Rome.  C*  Tiberius 
the  Tyrant  ",  Tarver,  p.  140). 

""  The  self-reh'ance  of  Augustus  was  justified  by 
his  success.  He  had  resolved  to  raise  himself  to  power, 
and  he  had  succeeded.  He  had  vowed  to  restore  the 
moral  features  of  the  republic,  and  in  this  too  he  had, 
at  least  outwardly,  succeeded.  While  however  the  las- 
situde of  the  Romans,  and  their  disgust  at  the  excesses 
of  the  times,  had  been  the  main  cause  of  his  success, 
another  and  more  vulgar  agent,  one  which  it  might 
seem  to  need  no  genius  to  wield  had  been  hardly  less 
efficacious:  and  this  was  simply  his  command  of  mon- 
ey. Throughout  his  long  reign,  Augustus  was  enabled 
to  maintain  a  svstem  of  profuse  liberality,  partly  by 
strict  economy  and  moderation  in  his  own  habits,  but 
more  by  the  vast  resources  he  had  derived  from  his 
conquests.  He  was  anxious  to  keep  the  springs  of 
this  abundance  ever  flowing,  and  he  found  means  to 
engage  the  wealthiest  of  his  subjects  to  feed  them  with 
gifts  and  legacies.  The  people  were  content  to  barter 
their  freedom  for  shows  and  largesses,  to  accept  fo- 
rums and  temples  in  place  of  conquests  :  and  while 
their  ruler  directed  his  sumptuary  laws  against  the 
magnificence  of  the  nobles,  because  it  threw  a  shade 
over  the  economy  which  his  own  necessities  required, 
he  cherished  the  most  luxurious  tastes  among  the  peo- 
ple, and  strained  every  nerve  to  satiate  them  with  the 
appliances  of  indolent  enjoyment,  with  baths  and  ban- 
quets, with  galleries  and  libraries,  with  popular  amuse- 
ments and  religious  solemnities  ".  C  Hist,  of  the  Ro- 
mans \  Merivale  (Bk.  IV.  p.  289  a  290). 


Capri  under  Tiberius. 

"  Oderint  dum  probent  ".  (Tiberius) 

I  will  not  attempt,  in  this  work  which  is  at  best  of 
a  very  cursory  and  unambitious  character,  to  summa- 
rise the  reign  of  the  Emperor  Tiberius ,  to  enumerate 
either  his  political  acts  and  reforms,  or  to  detail  the 
various  campaigns  that  were  undertaken,  with  more  or 
less  success,  during  his  reign.  My  object  is  merely  to 
attempt  to  present  to  the  reader  a  fairly  intelligible  view 
of  the  Emperor  Tiberius,  as  he  was  when  he  sought  a 
retreat  in  Capri,  after  a  long  life  of  unusual  trial  and 
disappointment,  to  sketch  his  character,  his  appearance, 
his  companions,  his  habits  and  tastes,  and  finally  by 
quoting  from  writers  whose  reputation  and  authority  is 
unimpeachable,  to  endeavour  to  clear  his  memory  from 
that  miasma  of  inhuman  brutality  and  obscenity,  which 
has  been  accepted  without  doubt  by  generation  after 
generation  of  historians,  and  swallowed  with  docile  cre- 
dulity by  countless  readers.  With  this  object  in  view 
I  will  divide  this  chapter  into  eight  heads. 

1.  His  reasons  for  leaving  Rome. 

2.  His  reasons  for  choosing  Capri. 

60  THE    BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

3.  His  appearance,  habits,  and  tastes. 

4.  His  companions  in  Capri. 

5.  His  death. 

6.  His  character,  and  how  it  was  affected  by  the 
disappointments  of  his  life. 

7.  Our  reasons  for  dech'ning  to  accept  the  estimate 
of  the  character  of  Tiberius,  as  portrayed  by  Suetonius 
and  Tacitus. 

8.  Conclusions  arrived  at  from  a  study  of  the  busts, 
cameos,  and  reliefs  of  Tiberius. 

1  -    His  reasons  for  leaving  Rome. 

At  the  time  when  Tiberius  finally  determined  to 
leave  Rome  he  was  well  advanced  in  years,  being  sixty- 
seven  years  of  age,  and  the  state  of  his  health  was  far 
from  satisfactory:  he  appears  to  have  suffered  from  a 
kind  of  eczema,  his  face  was  so  disfigured  by  sores 
and  eruptions  that  it  was  impossible  for  him  to  appear 
in  public.  The  Romans,  like  the  Italians  of  to-day,  are 
singularly  susceptible  to  beauty,  and  peculiarly  repelled 
by  whatever  jars  on  their  sensitive  love  of  what  is 
pleasing  and  attractive  to  the  senses.  The  unfortunate 
Emperor,  whenever  he  appeared  in  public  was  greeted 
by  the  jeers  and  heartless  outspoken  comments  of  a 
sharp-tongued  and  satirical  people,  who  would  never 
lose  a  "  bon  mot  "  merely  because  it  gave  pain. 

"  Till  the  year  in  which  his  son  Drusus  had  died, 
Tiberius  had  hardly  quitted  Rome.  For  two  whole 
years  after  he  became  prince,  he  never  even  set  foot 
outside  the  gates;  and  after  that  he  allowed  himself  but 
short  periods  of  relaxation  from  work,  and  never  went 
further  than  Antium,  there  to  inhale  the  fresh  air  from 
the  sea,  and  he  never  remained  there  for  more  than  a 


few  days.  Yet  he  felt  a  craving  for  country  air  and 
rest,  and  so  often  spoke  of  his  intention  of  taking  a 
hoh'day  that  the  Romans  in  joke  called  him  a  Callipides 
"  always  on  the  run  ,  but  never  advancing  a  step  ". 
Wearied  with  the  burden  of  government,  and  no  longer 
animated  with  the  thought  that  he  was  working  to  con- 
solidate the  empire  for  his  son,  knowing  that  his  suc- 
cessor was  inspired  by  the  party  about  him  with  dislike 
towards  himself,  and  that  minds  were  poisoned  against 
him,  sick  at  heart  over  the  revelation  of  the  falsehoods 
circulated  relative  to  his  private  life,  and  looking  back 
to  the  restful  period  in  Rhodes,  he  suddenly  turned  his 
back  on  Rome  and  went  into  Campania ,  on  the  plea 
that  he  must  dedicate  a  couple  of  temples  there,  one 
of  which  was  at  Nola  where  Augustus  had  died  ". 
("  Tragedy  of  Caesars  \  Baring-Gould,  p.  315). 

The  natural  bent  of  a  mind  such  as  Tiberius  pos- 
sessed was  towards  seclusion  and  scholarly  leisure,  this 
he  proved  by  his  early  retirement  to  Rhodes,  which  so 
exasperated  Augustus  as  nearly  to  ruin  his  future  ca- 
reer. Unlike  Augustus,  Tiberius  had  never  been  pop- 
ular with  the  people,  he  did  not  lavish  vast  sums  of 
money  on  gladiatorial  shows,  he  had  no  natural  "bonhom- 
mie  ",  none  of  the  democratic  stirring  spirit,  ever  ready 
with  a  friendly  recognition  or  familiar  joke,  which,  then 
as  now,  endears  a  ruler  to  his  people,  and  seats  him 
more  firmly  in  the  hearts  of  his  subjects,  than  unfailing 
success  in  war,  or  rigid  justice  meted  out  with  the 
unwavering  hand  of  equity,  but  without  a  sympathetic 

Tiberius  with  his  sensitive  nervous  woman's  chin, 
and  that  want  of  determination  noticeable  in  his  lower 

62  THE   BOOK   OT   CAPRI 

face,  was  rather  a  student  and  a  pedant  than  a  man 
of  action:  he  was  also  somewhat  of  a  mystic  and  dream- 
er. He  doubtless  often  recalled  with  mingled  feelings 
of  pain  and  pleasure  (the  pleasure  however  largely 
predominating)  the  peaceful,  simple,  uneventful  years  he 
had  passed  at  Rhodes,  and  from  which  he  had  so  re- 
luctantly severed  himself,  not  from  any  ambitious  desire 
to  take  part  in  the  government  of  the  Empire,  but  sole- 
ly at  the  call  of  what  he  considered  his  duty  ,  and  to 
relieve  his  patron  Augustus  from  the  almost  intolerable 
load  of  State.  Tiberius  must  have  felt  that  he  had 
indeed  sacrificed  enough  of  his  fast-waning  life  to  the 
harassing  and  thankless  cares  of  office.  What  had  been 
his  reward  ?  "  Every  one  he  had  trusted  had  failed 
him.  His  first  wife  he  had  been  told  had  been  unfaithful 
to  him:;  his  second  wife  he  knew  had  been  untrue.  His 
adopted  sons  had  turned  against  him  in  revolt.  His 
mother  had  dealt  him  the  cruelest  blow  conceivable  in 
showing  him  that  Augustus,  whom  he  had  reverenced 
and  loved,  had  disliked  him.  Drusus,  his  own  son,  had 
caused  him  anxiety,  and  then  had  been  snatched  from 
him.  The  senate,  the  Roman  people,  for  whom  he  had 
lived  and  laboured  ,  inspired  him  with  contempt  and 
disgust  at  their  servility  and  changeableness  \  ("  Tra- 
gedy of  Caesars  ".  Baring-Gould,  p.  338). 

"  The  love  of  retirement,  manifest  in  Tiberius  when 
he  went  to  Rhodes,  that  shyness  which  he  was  never 
able  to  cast  off ,  weariness  with  the  cabals  of  the  cap- 
ital ever  reformed  as  fast  as  broken,  combined  to  make 
Tiberius,  as  he  felt  his  powers  fail,  and  when  troubled 
with  physical  disorder,  seek  a  refuge  out  of  the  current 
of  Roman  life,  where,    nevertheless,    he    could  control 


the  course  of  public  affairs.  But  a  man  of  his  tempera- 
ment and  reserve  was  so  incomprehensible  to  the 
Roman  society-man,  that  he  was  driven  to  invent  rea- 
sons satisfactory  to  himself  to  explain  this  voluntary 
banishment  \  ("  Tragedy  of  Caesars  \  Baring-Gould, 
p.  348). 

Tacitus  tells  us,  that  Tiberius  retired  to  Capri  through 
the  machinations  of  Sejanus.  "  He  adopted  the  expe- 
dient of  urging  the  emperor  to  pass  his  time  in  some 
agreable  situation  far  from  Rome.  From  this  counsel 
he  foresaw  many  advantages:  upon  himself  would  de- 
pend all  access  to  the  emperor;  the  letters  would,  as 
the  soldiers  were  the  carriers,  be  for  the  most  part  un- 
der his  direction;  in  a  little  time  the  prince  now  declin- 
ing in  years,  and  enervated  by  retirement,  would  more 
easily  transfer  to  him  the  whole  charge  of  the  empire: 
the  envy  felt  towards  himself  would  be  diminished  by 
getting  rid  of  the  crowd  of  visitors,  and  though  the 
empty  parade  of  power  was  removed,  he  would  pos- 
sess more  of  its  essentials.  He  therefore  began  by 
little  and  little  to  rail  at  the  hurry  of  business  at  Rome, 
the  throng  of  people,  the  conflux  of  suitors,  applauding 
retirement  and  quiet,  which  afford  the  greatest  facilities 
for  deliberation  on  the  most  important  matters,  unweari- 
ed by  importunities  and  unexposed  to  annoyance  from 
the  disatisfied  ".    (Tacitus.  Ann.  IV  c.  41). 

2  —  His  reasons  for  choosing  Capri. 

After  leaving  Rome  Tiberius  passed  through  Cam- 
pania, and  dedicated  the  capitol  at  Capua  and  a  temple 
to  Augustus  at  Nola,  at  which  place  Augustus  had 
died.  Finally  he  made  his  escape  from  official  duties 
and  joyfully  directed  his  galleys  to  head  for  Capri,  the 


haven  of  repose  on  which  he  had  long  ago  fixed  his 
attention,  as  his  final  retreat. 

Suetonius  tells  us  that  he  selected  Capri,  "  being 
greatly  delighted  with  the  island  because  it  was  acces- 
sible only  by  a  narrow  beach,  being  on  all  sides  sur- 
rounded with  rugged  cliffs,  of  a  stupendous  height  and 
by  deep  sea".  (Suetonius,  Tib.  Chap.  XL).  This  state- 
ment that  the  island  of  Capri  had  only  one  beach, 
which  was  accessible  for  boats,  may  at  first  sight  seem 
difficult  to  reconcile  with  our  knowledge  of  Capri  today; 
but  the  reader  must  bear  in  mind  the  fact  (which  is 
discussed  at  greater  length  in  the  Chapter  on  Geology, 
and  in  that  on  the  Blue  Grotto)  that  during  the  Ro- 
man ocupation  the  sea  level  was  eighteen  to  twenty 
feet  lower  than  it  is  today ,  and  consequently  the 
shelving  spaces,  which  to-day  serve  as  landing  places, 
were  at  that  period  low  cliffs  on  which  a  boat  could 
not  be  beached. 

We  will  again  quote  from  Tacitus  ;M  am  strongly 
inclined  to  beieve  that  he  was  taken  with  its  perfect 
solitude,  for  the  sea  in  its  neighbourhood  is  void  of 
havens,  and  the  stations  even  for  smaller  vessels  are 
few,  while  none  could  put  in  unperceived  by  the  coast- 
guards. The  temperature  of  the  climate  is  mild  in 
winter,  from  the  shelter  of  a  mountain,  which  inter- 
cepts the  rigour  of  the  winds:  its  summers  are  re- 
freshed by  gales  from  the  west,  and  are  rendered  de- 
lightful from  the  wide  expanse  of  sea  which  the  island 
commands:  before  the  fiery  eruptions  of  Mount  Vesu- 
vius had  changed  the  face  of  the  country,  there  was 
also  a  prospect  of  the  lovely  bay  of  Naples  ".  (Taci- 
tus, Ann.  IV.  c.  67). 


Besides  the  advantages  above  enumerated  the  Em- 
peror would  obviously  seek  as  his  place  of  retirement 
a  spot  sufficiently  accessible  to  Rome;  the  extreme 
healthfulness  of  the  island,  the  absence  of  extremes  of 
heat  and  cold,  and  the  absence  of  dust  would  tend  to 
the  alleviation  of  the  distressing  disease  from  which  he 

We  learn  from  Suetonius  that  one  of  the  compan- 
ions whom  Tiberius  chose  to  accompany  him  in  his 
retirement  was  Thrasyllus,  the  mathematician  and  astro- 
loger, and  we  may  well  assume  that  the  Emperor  an- 
ticipated pursuing  with  pleasure,  and  under  most  fa- 
vourable circumstances,  his  favourite  study  of  astrono- 
my, from  the  elevated  rocks  and  hills  of  his  mountain- 
ous retreat. 

"  The  island  was  as  though  constituted  by  nature 
to  be  a  resting-place  for  a  lord  of  the  world,  with 
mind  clouded  by  painful  experiences,  who  desired  to 
withdraw  from  the  public  eye,  and  yet  had  no  intention 
of  allowing  the  reins  of  government  to  be  taken  from 
his  hands,  it  is  accessible  at  one  point  only,  easily  se- 
cured: everywhere  else  its  limestone  cliffs  start  sheer 
out  of  the  blue  sea  to  a  height  of  a  thousand  feet. 
This  gave  the  old  emperor  security  against  attack.  More- 
over the  station  of  the  fleet  was  at  Misenum,  two 
hours  distant,  and  it  was  separated  from  Surrentum 
on  the  Campanian  coast,  by  a  channel  six  miles  wide  \ 
("  Tragedy  of  Caesars.  "  Baring-Gould,  p.  317). 

Dean  Merivale  remarks;  "  While  few  other  spots 
could  have  combined  the  requisites  of  solitude  and  diffi- 
cult approach  with  such  actual  proximity  to  the  seat 
of   government,    Tiberius   was    not    insensible   to   the 


66  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

charms  of  its  climate,  and  even  the  attractions  of  its 
scenery:  to  the  freshness  of  its  evening  breeze,  the 
coolness  of  its  summers,  and  the  pleasing  mildness  of 
its  winters.  The  villas  he  erected  enjoyed  every  variety 
of  prospect ,  commanded  every  breath  of  air ,  and 
caught  the  rays  of  the  sun  at  every  point  of  his 
diurnal  course.  From  the  heights  of  Capreae  the  eye 
comprehended  at  one  glance  the  whole  range  of  the  Ita- 
lian coast  from  the  promontory  of  Circe  to  the  temples 
of  Paestum,  clearly  visible  through  the  transparent  at- 
mosphere. The  Falernian  and  Gaurian  ridges,  teem 
ing  with  the  noblest  vineyards  of  Italy ,  the  long 
ridges  of  the  Samnite  Apennines,  even  to  the  distant 
Lucanian  mountains ,  formed  the  framework  of  the 
picture,  while  Vesuvius  reared  its  then  level  crest ,  yet 
unscarred  by  lava  directly  in  the  centre.  Facing  the 
south  the  spectator  gazed  on  the  expanse  of  the  Sici- 
lian sea.  So  wide  is  the  horizon  that  it  is,  perhaps  no 
fiction  that  at  some  favorable  moments  the  outline  of 
the  fiery  isles  of  >€olus ,  and  even  of  Sicily  itself  are 
within  the  range  of  vision  ".  ("  History  of  Romans  ", 
Merivale.  vol.  V.  p.  205). 

3  —  His  appearance,  habits  and  tastes. 

As  a  young  man  Tiberius  must  have  been  ex- 
tremely handsome,  he  was  tall,  well  proportioned  and 
broad  shouldered.  From  the  numerous  statues  and 
busts  that  have  survived  to  us  we  can  see  that  he  had 
a  broad  brow,  his  mouth  was  nervous,  refined  and 
sensitive:  he  had  a  weak  chin  ,  and  large  sad  looking 
eyes:  his  nose  was  delicate  and  intellectual.  The  fol- 
lowing description  of  him  in  his  youth  is  quoted  from 
Suetonius.     "  In  person  he  was  large  and  robust  of  a 


Stature  somewhat  above  the  common  size:  broad  in  his 
shoulders  and  chest,  and  proportionable  in  the  rest  of 
his  frame.  He  used  his  left  hand  more  readily  and 
with  more  force  than  his  right,  and  his  joints  were  so 
strong  that  he  could  bore  a  fresh  sound  apple  through 
with  his  finger,  and  wound  the  head  of  a  boy  with  a 
fillip.  He  was  of  a  fair  complexion,  and  wore  his  hair 
so  long  behind,  that  it  covered  his  neck,  which  was 
observed  to  J)e  a  mark  of  distinction  affected  by  his 
family.  He  had  a  handsome  face,  but  it  was  often  full 
of  pimples.  His  eyes,  which  were  large  had  a  won- 
derful faculty  of  seeing  in  the  night-time  and  in  the 
dark  for  a  short  time  only,  and  immediately  after 
waking  from  sleep.  He  walked  with  his  neck  stiff 
and  upright:  generally  with  a  frowning  countenance, 
being  for  the  most  part  silent:  and  usually  accompanied 
with  a  slight  gesticulation  of  his  fingers  \  (Suet. 
Tib.  LXVIll). 

In  his  old  age  a  less  attractive  portrait  is  given  by 
Tacitus.  "  He  was  exceedingly  emaciated,  tall  and 
stooping,  his  head  bald,  his  face  ulcerous  and  thickly 
patched  with  plasters  \    (Tacitus,  Ann,  4,  57,). 

The  elder  Pliny  in  speaking  of  the  peculiarity  of 
his  sight  says;  "  This  Caesar  alone  among  all  men  had 
the  faculty  of  seeing  for  a  few  moments  after  waking 
in  the  night,  as  clearly  as  by  day,  but  soon  after  all 
grew  dark  again  \  (Plin,  Nat.  Hist..  XI,  37).  His 
health  was  sound,  "  during  almost  the  whole  period 
of  his  reign,  though  from  his  thirtieth  year  he  treated 
himself  according  to  his  own  discretion,  without  any 
medical  aid  ^  (Suet.  Tib.  LXVIII).  Tiberius  was  a 
bad  patron  of  the  medical  fraternity,  and    used  to  say 

68  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

"  Those  are  poor  creatures,  who  after  having  passed 
their  thirtieth  year,  need  other  advice  than  their  own 
experience  to  tell  them  what  is  good,  and  what  is  bad 
for  their  health  \ 

Like  our  own  George  111  the  emperor's  tastes  in 
his  diet  were  simple  and  frugal,  he  loved  vegetables 
especially  cucumbers,  parsnips,  asparagus  and  a  vege- 
table, which  from  the  description  of  Pliny,  must  have 
been  brussels-sprouts.  In  his  old  age  he  drank  only 
Surrentine  wine,  and  he  was  very  partial  to  a  special 
variety  of  dried  African  grape. 

Like  all  highly  educated  men  of  his  day,  he  was 
thoroughly  conversant  with  Greek,  and  himself  composed 
some  Greek  poems  in  imitation  of  Euphorion,  Rhianus, 
and  Parthenius:  he  considered  it  however  an  affectation 
to  use  Greek  in  the  senate-house,  and  if  forced  to 
employ  a  Greek  word ,  apologised  for  its  use.  "  His 
principal  study  was  the  history  of  the  fabulous  ages, 
inquiring  even  into  its  trifling  details  in  a  ridiculous 
manner  ".     (Suet.  Tib.  LXX). 

He  was  well  skilled  in  astronomy,  and  his  constant 
companion  during  his  retirement  to  Rhodes  was  Thrasyl- 
lus  the  mathematician ,  who  was  also  with  him  in 
Capri.  Tacitus,  tells  us,  that  by  means  of  his  wonderful 
knowledge  of  astrology,  he  predicted  that  Galba  would 
some  day  be  emperor,  using  these  words  in  Greeek; 
"  And  thou  Galba  shalt  hereafter  taste  of  Empire  \ 
(Tac.  Ann.  6,  20). 

4  —  Mis  companions  in  Capri. 

The  old  Emperor  wearied  with  the  servile  adulation 
of  a  crowd  of  sycophants ,  and  fully  convinced  of  the 
treachery  and  infidelity  of  mankind  in  general,  naturally 


brought  with  him  to  Capri  but  a  slender  retinue,  and 
those  all  tried  friends.  Tacitus  mentions  their  names : 
Cocceius  Nerva,  a  senator  of  consular  rank,  who  was 
the  greatest  lawyer  of  his  day  in  Rome;  Sejanus,  and 
Curtius  Atticus,  a  friend  of  Ovid  who  afterwards  was 
ruined  by  Sejanus.  "  The  rest  were  men  of  letters, 
chiefly  Greeks,  whose  conversation  might  amuse  him  \ 
(Tac.  Ann.  4.  c.  58  and  Suet.  Tib.  LVl).  In  addition 
he  had  with  him  Caligula  and  Gemellus,  as  well  as 
Livilla  and  her  daughter  Julia,  and  after  A.  D.  35  the 
wife  of  Caligula. 

5  —  His  death. 

Tiberius  expired  in  the  seventy  -  ninth  year  of  his 
age  at  the  Villa  of  Lucullus  at  Misenum.  Suetonius 
says; "  He  fell  ill  at  Astura:  but  recovering  a  little  , 
went  on  to  Circeii.  And  to  obviate  any  suspicion  of 
his  being  in  a  bad  state  of  health,  he  was  not  only 
present  at  the  sports  in  the  camp,  but  encountered  with 
javelins  a  wild  boar,  which  was  let  loose  in  the  arena. 
Being  immediately  seized  with  a  pain  in  the  side,  and 
catching  cold  upon  his  over-heating  himself  in  the 
exercise,  he  relapsed  into  a  worse  condition  than  he 
was  before.  He  held  out,  however,  for  some  time, 
and  sailing  as  far  as  Misenum,  omitted  nothing  in  his 
usual  mode  of  life,  not  even  in  his  entertainments,  and 
other  gratifications,  partly  from  an  ungovernable  appe- 
tite, and  partly  to  conceal  his  condition.  For  Charicles, 
a  physician,  having  obtained  leave  of  absence,  on  his 
rising  from  the  table,  took  his  hand  to  kiss  it:  upon 
which  Tiberius,  supposing  he  did  it  to  feel  his  pulse, 
desired  him  to  stay  and  resume  his  place,  and  contin- 
ued the   entertainment   longer  than  usual.    Nor  did  he 

70  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

omit  his  usual  custom  of  taking  his  station  in  the  centre 
of  the  apartment,  a  h'ctor  standing  by  him,  while  he 
took  leave  of  the  party  by  name  ".  (Suet.  Tib.  LXXII). 
Suetonius  quoting  from  some  lost  work  of  Seneca  says; 
*  finding  himself  dying  he  took  his  signet  ring  off  his 
finger,  and  held  it  a  while  as  if  he  would  deliver  it  to 
somebody,  but  put  it  again  on  his  finger,  and  lay  for 
some  time  with  his  left  hand  clenched  and  without 
stirring,  when  suddenly  summoning  his  attendants  and 
no  one  answering  the  call,  he  rose:  but  his  strength 
failling  him,  he  fell  down  at  a  short  distance  from 
his  bed  \    (Suet.  Tib.  LXXIII). 

Tacitus  supplies  us  with  the  following  painful  story 
oi  the  termination  of  a  life  that  seems  never  to  have 
been  devoid  of  a  tragic  strain;  "  Charicles  however  had 
assured  Macro  that  life  was  ebbing  fast,  and  could  not 
outlast  two  days.  Hence  the  whole  court  was  in  a 
bustle  with  consultations,  and  expresses  were  despatched 
to  the  generals  and  armies.  On  the  seventeenth  before 
the  calends  of  April,  he  was  believed  to  have  finished 
his  mortal  career,  having  ceased  to  breathe,  and  Caligula 
in  the  midst  of  a  great  throng  of  people  paying  their 
congratulations,  was  already  going  forth  to  make  a 
solemn  entrance  on  the  sovereignty,  when  suddenly  a 
notice  came  that  "  Tiberius  had  recovered  his  sight 
and  voice,  and  had  called  for  some  persons  to  give 
him  food  to  restore  him  \  The  consternation  was 
universal:  the  concourse  about  Caligula  dispersed  in  all 
directions,  every  man  affecting  sorrow  or  feigned  ignor- 
ance: he  himself  stood  fixed  in  silence,  —  fallen  from 
the  highest  hopes,  he  now  expected  the  worst.  Macro, 
undismayed,  ordered   the  old    man    to    be   smothered 


with  a  quantity  of  clothes,  and  the  doorway  to  be 
closed.  Thus  Tiberius  expired  in  the  seventy-eighth 
year  of  his  age  ".    (Tacitus.  Ann.  6,  50).- 

The  following  passage  from  Baring-Gould ,  which 
is  a  condensation  of  the  report  of  Josephus,  (Joseph. 
Ant.  Jud.  XVIII.  6-9.)  is  not  without  interest,  descri- 
bing, as  it  does,  the  dying  Emperor's  last  meeting  with 
his  grandson  and  successor  Caligula;  it  also  throws  a 
curious  light  on  the  superstitions  side  of  Tiberius;  "  He 
retired  to  his  room  feeling  weak  and  exhausted,  and 
bade  Evodius,  the  most  confidential  of  his  freedmen, 
bring  his  two  grand-children  to  him  betimes  the  next 
morning.  After  having  given  directions,  he  prayed  the 
gods  to  make  known  to  him  by  some  token,  which  of 
the  two  they  destined  to  succeed  him.  For  the  old 
man's  mind  was  perplexed,  knowing  the  evil  nature 
and  crazed  head  of  the  elder  of  the  princes,  and 
knowing  also  how  impossible  it  would  be  for  the  boy 
Gemellus  to  maintain  himself  at  the  head  of  affairs. 
Accordingly  he  asked  that  the  sign  of  the  will  of  the 
gods  should  be,  that  he  who  was  called  to  empire, 
should  first  enter  his  room.  Then,  so  goes  the  tale,  in 
his  anxiety  to  control,  if  possible,  the  decree  of  the 
gods,  he  bade  the  tutor  of  Gemellus  make  sure  and 
bring  his  charge  to  him  as  early  as  possible.  But  the 
younger  boy,  dawdling  over  his  meal,  was  forestalled 
by  Caligula,  who  first  entered  the  room  of  the  dying 
man.  Tiberius  received  the  token  with  a  sad  heart , 
and  said  to  Caius,  "  My  son,  although  Tiberius  (Ge- 
mellus) is  nearer  to  myself  than  you  are,  yet  both  of 
my  own  choice  and  in  obedience  to  the  gods,  1  com- 
mend the  empire  of  Rome    into  your  hands  ".    Then 

72  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

he  earnestly  adjured  the  truculent  lad  to  love  his  young 
and  unprotected  kinsman,  and  enforced  his  words  by  a 
solemn  warning  of  the  perils  of  the  position  to  which 
he  was  about  to  be  raised,  and  the  punishments  which 
the  gods  send  on  the  ungrateful  ".  ("  Tragedy  of  the  Cae- 
sars. "     (Baring-Gould,  p.  376). 

We  have  from  the  hand  of  Suetonius  the  following 
account  of  the  contents  of  the  will  of  Tiberius.  "  He 
had  made  about  two  years  before  duplicates  of  his 
will,  one  written  by  his  own  hand,  and  the  other  by 
that  of  one  of  his  freedmen:  and  both  witnessed  by 
some  persons  of  mean  rank.  He  appointed  his  two 
grandsons,  Caius  by  Germanicus,  and  Tiberius  by  Dru- 
sus,  joint  heirs  of  his  estate  ;  and  upon  the  death  of 
one  of  them,  the  other  to  inherit  the  whole.  He  gave 
likewise  many  legacies:  amongst  which  were  bequests 
to  the  Vestal  Virgins,  to  all  the  soldiers,  and  each  one 
of  the  people  of  Rome,  and  to  the  Magistrates  of  the 
several  quarters  of  the  city  ".    (Suet.  Tib.  LXXVI). 

6  —  His  character,  and  how  it  was  affected  by  the 
disappointments  of  his  life. 

In  attempting  to  estimate  with  rigid  fairness  and 
with  a  total  absence  of  bias  the  true  character  of  Ti- 
berius, what  strikes  the  intelligent  and  receptive  reader 
with  most  force,  is  not  so  much  the  complexity,  the 
contradictions,  or  inconstancies  of  the  character  of  Ti- 
berius, as  the  manner  in  which  his  mind,  originally  full 
of  loveable  and  amiable  qualities,  was  warped  and  per- 
verted by  the  singularly  unfortunate  relations  with  those 
on  whom  he  was  most  dependant ,  and  who  were 
brought  most  closely  into  his  inner  life. 


The  historian  of  today  who  is  acceptable  to  the 
modern  student  of  history,  and  who  will  be  capable  of 
-gaining  his  confidence,  must  needs  possess,  like  the 
successful  palmist  or  phrenologist,  many  powers,  chief 
of  which  must  be  the  capacity  of  balancing  cause  and 
effect,  he  will  find  that  certain  conditions  on  the  one 
side  are  balanced  or,  it  may  be,  over-balanced  by  cer- 
tain conditions  of  a  totally  different  character,  so  that 
the  result  we  should  expect  is  not  arrived  at,  but  a 
diametrically  opposite  conclusion  is  reached.  The  stu- 
dent of  a  past  day  demanded,  and  was  naturally  accom- 
modated with,  a  series  of  historical  electric  shocks  (if 
the  flippancy  of  the  expression  may  be  pardoned) ; 
each  leading  character  was  portrayed  in  brilliant  colours, 
red  or  black,  with  striking  vividness,  and  no  uncertainty 
of  touch.  The  "  dramatis  personae  "  were  either  para- 
gons of  every  conceivable  virtue,  or  were  steeped  to 
the  lips  in  vitriol  streams  of  abhorrent  vice.  But  it 
was  indispensable  that  the  vivid  colours  must,  in  order 
to  satisfy  the  requirements  of  the  student  and  secure 
the  fame  of  the  author,  be  clothed  in  rich  oratorical 
English,  or  in  terse  clear-cut  phrases.  To-day  the  spirit 
of  analysis  and  hyper-analysis  is  rampant.  We  weigh 
and  balance  motives  and  actions,  and  their  causes  and 
effects;  to-day  the  writer  of  the  novel  of  mental  dissection 
reaps  a  rich  harvest,  and  the  up-to-date  reader  turns 
with  nausea  from  deeds,  exploits,  perils,  or  action,  to 
the  more  intellectual,  though  possibly  less  healthy  study, 
of  intricate  analysis  of  character.  To-day  too  the  icon- 
oclast holds  high  his  head,  we  have  thrown  down  our 
old  gods,  broken  them  in  pieces,  and  melted  their  gra- 
ven images,  and  out  of  the  molten  mass  of  our  quon- 

74  THE   BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

dam  divinities,  have  fashioned  brand  new  gods,  to  whom 
we  are  wilh'ng  to  bow  down  and  sacrifice. 

As  a  young  man,  the  character  of  Tiberius  was 
distinguished  by  many  noble  and  admirable  features  , 
which  marked  him  out  as  a  successful  leader  of  men. 
He  had  a  strong  sense  of  duty,  he  was  brave,  vigorous 
and  conscientious,  and  showed  an  extraordinay  aptitude 
for  affairs.  He  was  accused  of  pride,  but  this  arose 
rather  from  awkwardness  and  shyness,  and  in  his  actual 
conduct  of  affairs,  he  showed  himself  retiring  and  diffi- 
dent, and  in  his  relations  with  the  Senate  actually  dem- 
ocratic. He  was  over  critical  and  distrustful  of  others, 
feeling  no  confidence  in  his  power  to  please,  neither 
possessing  or  caring  to  cultivate  the  art  of  winning 
approbation,  he  gave  his  friendship  reluctantly,  slowly, 
hesitatingly.  But  like  many  another  shy,  critical,  sus- 
picious man  of  our  own  day  and  acquaintance,  when 
he  had  made  up  his  mind  to  offer  his  friendship,  con- 
fidence or  love,  he  gave  with  all  his  heart  and  without 
reserve.  Having  however  given  with  all  his  heart,  and 
given  the  more  abundantly,  because  he  resembled  the 
dull  moth,  rather  than  the  bright  hued  butterfly,  when  he 
found  his  friendship  thrown  back  upon  him,  repudiated, 
and  scorned,  when  he  found  his  love  betrayed,  and  his 
motives  misjudged,  then  he  retired  into  himself. 

The  effect  of  such  an  experience  on  a  man  poss- 
essing the  nature  we  have  attributed  to  Tiberius ,  may 
make  him  a  dangerous  vindictive  tyrant,  with  an  errand 
of  revenge  against  all  mankind,  or  he  may  become  an 
agnostic,  mystic  or  cynical  misanthrope,  who  seeks 
compensation  for  his  failure  to  win  his  fellow-man,  in 
study,  in  licence,    in  cruelty,   or  in  religion.    We  shall 


endeavour  to  prove  fact  by  fact,  the  statements  we 
have  advanced  in  this  brief,  and  necessarily  incomplete 
summary,  by  carefully  chosen  quotations  from  writers 
of  well  known  reputation,  and  believe  that  if  the  reader 
will  have  the  patience  to  continue  this  chapter  to  the 
end,  his  estimate  of  the  character  of  Tiberius  will  be  , 
if  not  completely  changed ,  at  any  rate  considerably 

"  In  estimating  Tiberius,  we  must  take  into  account 
the  circumstances  of  his  life,  and  also  the  character  of 
the  witnesses  who  have  recorded  his  reign.  A  Claudian 
both  on  the  father'  s  and  on  the  mother'  s  side,  de- 
scended from  the  Neros  to  whom  ,  as  Horace  sang 
Rome  owed  so  much,  he  had' all  the  pride  of  his  patri- 
cian house.  He  was  strong,  tall,  well-made,  with  a 
fair  complexion,  and  long  hair  profuse  at  the  back  of 
his  head  —  a  characteristic  of  the  Claudii.  He  had  un- 
usually large  eyes,  and  a  serious  expression.  In  his  youth 
he  was  called  *  the  old  man  \  so  thoughtful  was  he, 
and  slow  to  speak.  He  had  a  strong  sense  of  duty , 
and  a  profound  contempt  for  the  multitude.  The  spirit 
of  his  ancestress ,  the  Claudia  who  uttered  the  wish 
that  her  brother  were  alive  again,  to  lose  another  fleet 
and  make  the  streets  of  Rome  less  crowded,  had  in 
some  measure  descended  upon  Tiberius.  He  was,  as 
the  originally  Sabine  name  Nero  signified ,  brave  and 
vigorous ,  and  had  a  conspicous  aptitude  for  the  con- 
duct of  affairs.  But  he  was  too  critical  to  have  implicit 
confidence  in  himself :  and  he  was  suspicious  of  others. 
His  self-distrust  was  increased  by  the  circumstance  of  his 
early  manhood.  His  reserved  manner,  unlike  the  genial- 
ity of  his    brother  Drusus,  could  not   win  the  affection 

76  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

of  his  stepfather  Augustus,  who  regarded  his  pecuiarities 
as  faults:  and  when  he  was  youug  enough  to  have  am- 
bition, he  was  made  use  of  indeed,  but  he  never  enjoyed 
imperial  favour.  Kept,  when  possible,  in  the  second  place, 
he  was  always  meeting  rebuffs.  He  was  forced  to  divorce 
Vipsania  and  marry  Julia,who  brought  him  nothing  but 
shame.  Thus  the  circumstances  of  his  life,  and  his  re- 
lations to  his  stepfather  were  calculated  to  deepen  his 
reserve,  to  embitter  his  feelings,  and  produce  a  habit  of 
dissimulation  :  so  that  there  is  little  wonder  that  a  man 
of  his  cold  ,  diffident  nature  should  not  have  won  the 
affections  of  subjects  whom  he  did  not  deign  to  concil- 
iate. On  the  other  hand  his  diffidence  made  him  de- 
pendent on  others,  first  on  Livia,  and  then  on  Sejanus, 
who  proved  his  evil  genius  \  C  History  of  Roman  Em- 
pire \  Bury.     Chap.  XIII). 

Dean  Merivale  remarks:  "  He  was  in  fact,  one  of 
those  very  unamiable  men,  who  subject  their  conduct 
to  harsh  interpretations  from  mere  perverseness  of 
temper,  and  the  dislike  and  distrust  they  create  in  the 
breasts  of  those  around  them  \ 

Baring-Gould  adds:  "  The  lack  of  amiability  in  Ti- 
berius was  due  to  his  being  self-enclosed :  slighted , 
thrust  aside  in  youth  and  early  manhood,  he  had  been  ob- 
liged to  conceal  his  wounded  feelings,  and  when  he  was 
suddenly  elevated  to  the  throne  this  reserve  was  so 
inveterate  that  he  could  not  shake  it  off.  He  found 
himself  an  object  of  harsh  and  spiteful  comment,  found 
himself  accused  of  monstrous  crimes  of  which  he  was 
guiltless,  found  himself  out  of  harmony  with  the  light- 
headed Roman  people.  Grave,  sad,  thoughtful,  and 
sensitive  to  every  form  of  unkindness  he  gave  umbrage 


to  the  people  because  the  gladiatorial  shows  that  de- 
lighted them  bred  in  him  disgust :  he  offended  the  no- 
bility because  he  would  speak  plain  homely  Latin  in 
the  senate  instead  Greek,  and  treated  their  Hellenisation 
of  speech  and  manners  and  morals  with  undisguised  dis- 
dain".   ("Tragedy  of  the  Caesars",  Baring-Gould,  p.  284). 

His  very  unhappy  experience  of  women  Baring- 
Gould  comments  on  as  follows:  "  Tiberius  was  brought 
into  contact  with  three  women  in  his  own  family  of 
remarkable  character,  against  whom  he  had  to  contend 
in  secret,  and  who  conspired  to  render  his  life  one  of 
trouble.  His  wife  Julia,  dishonored  him  openly,  and 
he  was  unable  to  resist  her  secret  machinations  against 
him  with  her  father.  His  mother  Livia,  had  held  him  in 
bonds,  then  let  him  go  from  under  her  control ,  and 
then  again  tried  to  master  him.  Lastly,  Agrippina  his 
niece,  used  all  her  power,  her  influence,  her  position, 
to  break  down  the  confidence  his  subjects  had  in  him, 
and  to  alienate  their  heart  from  him.  When  he  had  her 
before  him,  with  her  defiant  face,  her  eyes  glaring  with 
anger,  her  brows  knitted,  when  he  heard  her  deep  voice 
quiver  with  ill-suppressed  animosity,  he  felt  that  she  was 
the  worst  enemy  with  whom  he  had  to  contend  ". 
("  Tragedy  of  the  Caesars  \  Baring-Gould,  p.  305), 

"  The  pride  which  so  many  believed  they  saw  in 
his  manner  —  he  showed  no  pride  in  his  conduct— was 
due  to  his  natural  shyness.  .  .  .  His  awkwardness  of 
holding  himself  and  of  address  was  due  to  the  same 
cause:  in  youth  he  was  reprimanded  for  it,  and  what 
must  have  hurt  him  greatly,  heard  his  adopted  father 
apologise  to  the  senate  for  it.  There  can  be  no  ques- 
tion but   that    his  wife   Julia  cast  it  insultingly    in   his 

78  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

teeth.  He  was  at  his  ease  only  among  students  and 
philosophers ,  or  in  camp.  He  never  associated  with 
ladies  after  his  separation  from  Vipsania.  The  only 
exception  to  this  was  his  visits  to  the  worthy  Antonia, 
whom  he  ever  loved  and  respected  for  her  virtues. 
But  these  visis  were  infrequent.  Perhaps  he  distrusted 
women :  he  had  certainly  cause  to  do  so  ...  ,  When 
he  became  emperor  he  knew  that  all  he  said  and  all 
he  did  were  turned  into  mockery  and  cruelly  perverted. 
He  was  driven  to  shut  up  his  own  thoughts  and  sor- 
rows in  his  own  heart.  But  this  sense  of  being  ever 
the  observed  with  intent  to  take  occasion  against  him, 
increased  his  awkwardness  \  ("  Tragedy  of  the  Cae- 
sars %  Baring-Gould,  p.  379). 

The  last  blow  to  his  faith  in  mankind  came  when 
Sejanus ,  whon  he  had  loved  and  trusted  as  a  friend , 
proved  traitor  and  turned  against  him, "  Now  his  last, 
his  only  stay  was  taken  from  him ,  and  his  solitude 
was  absolute.  Every  one  he  had  trusted  had  failed 
him.  His  first  wife  he  had  been  told  had  been  unfaith- 
ful to  him  :  his  second  wife  he  knew  had  been  untrue. 

His  mother  had  dealt  him  the  cruellest  blow  conceiv- 
able in  showing  him  that  Augustus ,  whom  he  had 
reverenced  and  loved ,  had  disliked  and  ridiculed   him. 

Drusus  his  own  son  had  caused  him  anxiety  and 
then  had  been  suddenly  snatched  from  him.  The 
senate,  the  Roman  people,  for  whon  he  had  lived,  and 
laboured,  inspired  him  with  contempt  and  disgust  at 
their  servility  and  changeableness.  He  had  trusted  Se- 
janus, and  his  friend  had  proved  false  —  how  false  he 
now  had  revealed  to  him, — unexpectedly,  to  add  to  his 


despair  and  misery  \   ("  Tragedy  of  the  Caesars  ",  Bar- 
ing-Gould, p.  338). 

It  would  be  difficult  to  close  this  estimate  of  the 
character  of  Tiberius  more  appropriately  than  by  tran- 
scribing the  following  beautiful  and  comprehensive  pas- 
sage from  the  "  Tiberius  "  of  Adolp  Stahr.  "  It  was 
in  his  own  family  that  misfortune  first  struck  him, 
and  afterwards  pursued  him  through  life.  History 
shows  us  no  sovereign  who  was  so  unhappy  in  his 
domestic  relations  as  was  Tiberius.  Even  as  a  boy 
he  was  placed  in  a  difficult  position  ,  by  the  separa- 
tion of  his  parents ,  and  by  his  adoption  into  the  im- 
perial family,  where  he  was  regarded  as  an  unwelcome 
intruder,  and  was  surrounded  by  the  dislike  and  exposed 
to  the  disrespect  of  its  privileged  members.  His  first 
happy  marriage  was  violently  broken  that  a  woman 
might  be  forced  on  him  who  brought  shame  and  dis- 
honour on  his  head.  After  this  marriage  was  at  an  end, 
he  remained  from  his  thirty-fifth  year  to  the  end  of  his 
days  unmarried  and  alone.  His  only  brother ,  whom 
he  tenderly  loved,  the  handsome,  heroic  Drusus,  was 
taken  from  him  by  death.  So  also  his  only  son  ,  and 
he  had  to  learn  that  the  wife  of  this  son  had  been  his 
murderess,  and  further  that  the  daughter  of  this  son 
likewise  betrayed  her  husband  to  Sejanus.  His  kinsfolk 
of  the  Julian  branch,  Agrippina  and  her  sons  paid  him 
with  black  ingratitude  for  all  the  care  he  took  of  them, 
and  the  unhappy  old  man  had  good  cause  when  con- 
sidering them  ,  to  liken  himself,  in  more  than  one  par- 
ticular to  Priam.  The  treachery  of  Sejanus  finally 
filled  up  the  picture  of  measureless  misfortune  and 
sorrow  which  is  revealed   to    us ,    when   we   consider 

80  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

this  life,  and  which  at  moments  drew  from  the  restrain- 
ed heart  of  the  great  sufferer  a  cry  of  despair ,  of 
doubt  in  gods  and  men.  If  the  gloomy  earnestness  of 
his  temper  was  intensified  finally  into  contempt  for 
mankind ,  the  only  wonder  is  that  this  took  place  so 
late  \ 

7  —  Our  reasons  for  declining  to  accept  the  esti- 
mate of  the  character  of  Tiberius ,  as  portrayed  by 
Suetonius  and  Tacitus. 

There  is  a  limit  to  the  credulity  even  of  the  stu- 
dent of  history,  and  that  limit  has  been  reached,  when 
we  are  requested  to  accept  without  reservation  ,  the 
extraordinary  contradictions  concerning  the  earlier  and 
later  periods  of  the  reign  of  Tiberius,  as  served  up  to 
us  by  Suetonius  and  Tacitus.  Only  two  alternatives 
are  open  to  us  ;  either  that  Tiberius  in  his  later  life 
became  deranged,  or  else  we  must  reject  the  accuracy 
of  the  accounts  of  Suetonius  and  Tacitus,  by  showing 
that  their  evidence  was  tainted  by  prejudice.  "  That  a 
man  close  on  seventy  should  suddenly  change  his 
habits  is  incredible ,  unless  we  are  to  assume  the  exist- 
ence of  a  hideous  form  of  senile  dementia ,  whose 
victim  is  to  be  pitied  rather  than  condemned  \  ("  Tibe- 
rius the  Tyrant  "  Tarver,  p.  422). 

"  All  accounts  of  the  licentious  abominations  com- 
mitted by  Tiberius  are  referred  to  his  life  from  his 
seventy-fourth  to  his  seventy-ninth  year,  and  to  a  time 
when  he  was  suffering  from  the  break-up  of  his  con- 
stitution and  from  continous  ill-health.  All  the  scan- 
dalous stories  refer  to  the  retreat  to  Capreae.  The 
Romans  could  not  comprehend  how  a  man  should 
care  to  live  away  from  Rome.    To  be  away  from  the 


capital,  its  shows,  its  festivals,  its  scandal,  was  to  be 
out  of  the  world  —  death  were  preferable  ".  ("  Tragedy 
of  the  Caesars  ",  Baring-Gould,  p.  348). 

"  If  we  accept  the  stories  of  Suetonius  and  Taci- 
tus of  the  dissolute  morals  of  Tiberius  in  his  old  age, 
then  we  must  suppose  that  he  was  deranged.  This  is 
an  easy  method  of  reconciling  the  contradictions  of 
the  historians.  But  before  accepting  these  stories  we 
may  well  ask  for  some  better  evidence  than  Roman 
gossip  and  lampoon,  and  there  is  no  other  on  which 
the  historian  and  biographer  based  their  charges. 
And,  before  pronouncing  Tiberius  to  have  been  insane 
we  must  have  better  grounds  to  go  on  than  the  desire 
to  save  the  reputation  of  Tacitus  and  his  jackal.  There 
was  derangement  in  the  Julian  ,  not  in  the  Claudian 
stock  \  ("  Tragedy  of  the  Caesars  \  Baring-Gould, 
p.  374). 

"  For  twenty-four  years  —  from  the  age  of  forty- 
four  till  he  was  sixty-eight  —  he  had  lived  in  the  midst 
of  a  scandal-loving  people,  eager  to  discover  a  blemish 
in  the  life  of  a  ruler,  and  nothing  had  been  found  in 
him  that  could  furnish  a  paragraph  in  the  "  chronique 
scandaleuse  \  But  now  that  he  was  gone,  accompanied 
as  before  when  he  went  to  Rhodes ,  by  a  few  learned 
men,  the  fervid  and  foul  mind  of  Rome  set  to  work  to 
invent  every  loathsome  detail  that  imagination  could 
create,  and  to  circulate  it  as  the  record  of  the  old  man 
in  his  solitary  retreat  \  ("  Tragedy  of  the  Caesars  " 
Baring-Gould,  p.  316). 

In  weighing  the  value  of  legal  evidence  the  first 
duty  of  the  lawyer  is  to  examine  carefully  whether  the 
testimony  of  the  witness  is  tainted  :  whether   in    other 


82  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

words,  the  witness  has  any  known  cause  for  exhibiting 
"  animus  \  for  or  against  the  accused.  The  same  rule 
applies  to  the  value  of  historical  evidence ;  no  sane 
student  of  history  would  seek  from  an  avowed  Tory 
an  impartial  estimate  of  a  great  Whig  leader,  or  would 
expect  an  ardent  Southerner ,  whose  family  has  been 
ruined  and  brought  low  by  the  great  war  between  the 
North  and  South  ,  to  paint  a  flattering  or  impartial 
picture  of  a  Northern  chief.  Suetonius,  it  must  be  re- 
membered ,  wrote  fifty  or  sixty  years  after  the  death 
of  Tiberius  ,  it  must  also  be  borne  in  mind  that  he 
was,  as  Voltaire  says,  an  "  anecdote-collector"  or  gossip- 
monger,  and  that  belonging,  as  he  did,  to  the  Senator- 
ial or  anti-monarchical  party,  it  was  part  of  his  "  role  " 
to  represent  the  Emperors  one  and  all  in  the  least 
attractive  light. 

"  Tacitus  wrote  under  the  influence  of  a  reaction 
against  the  imperial  system  ,  and  he  lays  himself  out 
to  blacken  the  character  of  all  the  Emperors  prior  to 
Nerva.  The  dark  character  of  Tiberius,  and  a  certain 
mystery  which  surrounded  his  acts  and  motives,  lent 
themselves  well  to  the  design  of  the  skilful  historian  , 
who  gathered  up  all  sorts  of  popular  rumours  and 
stories  imparting  crime  to  the  exile  of  Capreae  ". 
("  Roman  Empire  " ,  Bury,  Chap.  XIII). 

Baring-Gould  says  of  Tacitus;  "  With  regard  to  his 
stand-point  there  can  be  no  question.  He  viewed  the 
past  from  that  of  the  aristocratic-republican  party,  and 
his  estimate  of  the  Caesars  is  unfavourable ,  because 
through  them  that  party  was  deprived  of  its  influence, 
power,  and  means  of  accumulating  wealth.  He  indeed 
disclaims  the  intention  of  writing  with  partiality,  never- 


theless  his  own  feelings  were  deeply  engaged  and  he  wrote 
for  readers  who  were  members  of  that  oligarchy  \  ("  Tra- 
gedy of  Caesars  ",  Baring-Gould,  p.  646).  Again  quot- 
ing from  Baring-Gould;  "  According  to  the  representa- 
tions of  Tacitus ,  the  life  of  Tiberius  was  one  of  dis- 
simulation till  he  reached  the  age  of  seventy-three: 
first ,  because  he  feared  Augustus  :  secondly ,  because 
he  feared  his  mother  Livia ;  thirdly,  because  he  feared 
his  favourite  minister  Sejanus.  The  theory  carries 
absurdity  on  its  face :  nevertheless  Tacitus  adopted  it 
for  want  of  a  better ,  and  set  to  work  to  accomodate 
facts  to  fit  into  this  theory.  The  manner  in  which  he 
does  so  is  more  ingenious  than  honest  ".  ("  Tragedy  of 
the  Caesars  ",  Baring-Gould,  p.  650). 

In  addition  to  this  we  know  Tacitus  had  access 
to  the  memoires  of  Agrippina,  the  younger ,  the  daugh- 
ter of  Agrippina  the  wife  of  Germanicus ,  who  doubt- 
less draws  her  information  from  Agrippina  the  elder, 
whose  "  bitter  animosit/  against  the  memory  of  Tibe- 
rius and  all  members  of  the  Claudian  stock  not  closely 
related  to  herself,  is  well  known  ".  ("  Tiberius  the  Ty- 
rant ",  Tarver  p.  266). 

One  of  the  scandals  at  Capri  was  the  presence  of 
a  number  of  young  people  of  both  sexes:  but  in  this 
fact  there  is  nothing  that  should  arouse  in  the  unpre- 
judiced mind  the  least  ground  for  suspicion.  Owing 
to  his  position  as  Emperor,  Tiberius  was  guardian  to 
many  children,  and  it  was  according  to  Roman  custom 
that  these  children  should  accompany,  and  be  educated 
under    his   eye  and    personal  supervision. 

In  addition  to  these  wards  of  the  Empire  "  Tibe- 
rius had  brought  to  Capreae   the   two   boys,  Caligula 

84  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

and  Gemellus ,  to  live  there  under  his  supervision. 
Moreover ,  there  resided  with  him  in  his  villa  ,  both 
Lavilla  and  her  daughter  Julia;  also,  after  A.  D.  35, 
the  young  wife  of  Caligula.  Is  it  conceivable  that  the 
old  man  should  have  surrounded  himself  with  his  young 
relatives  to  witness  his  debauches  ?  "  ("  Tragedy  of 
Caesars  \  Baring-Gould,  pp.  348  349). 

The  later  exponents  of  Christianity  in  order  to 
present  a  vivid  and  striking  contrast  between  the  purity 
of  Chistianity  and  the  turgid  lust  and  licence  of  the 
Empire,  distorted  into  evil,  and  collected  all  the  incrim- 
inating details  in  regard  to  the  Roman  Emperors. 
"  Tiberius  himself  had  in  this  aspect  the  misfortune  to 
be  the  contemporary  of  the  founder  of  Christianity , 
and  in  the  idle  tales  of  Suetonius  and  the  studied  ma- 
lignity of  Tacitus  an  opportunity  was  found  for  start- 
ing the  contrast  from  the  commencement  ".  ("  Tibe- 
rius the  Tyrant  ",  Tarver,  p.  430). 

The  first  to  throw  doubt  on  the  disagreable  nar- 
ratives of  cruelty  and  licence  supposed  to  have  been 
indulged  in  by  Tiberius  during  his  sojourn  at  Capri 
was  Voltaire.  "  I  have  often  said  to  myself,  in  reading 
Tacitus  and  Suetonius:  are  all  these  atrocious  extrava- 
gances attributed  to  Tiberius  ,  Caligula  ,  Nero,  actual 
facts  ?  Can  1  believe  on  the  testimony  of  one  man,  who 
lived  a  long  time  after  Tiberius,  that  the  emperor,  when 
nearly  eighty  years  old,  who  had  lived  a  life  decent  to 
austerity,-that  this  emperor  spent  his  time  at  Capri  in 
debauches  which  would  make  a  young  rake  blush  ?. 
Can  I  be  sure  that  he  changed  the  throne  of  the  world 
into  a  common  stew  in  a  manner  unknown  to  the 
most  dissolute  youths?    The    abominations  related  of 


him  are  in  their  nature  incredible.  An  old  man,  an 
emperor  observed  of  all  who  approach  him  ,  with  the 
eyes  of  the  whole  world  fixed  searchingly  upon  him  , 
is  he  to  to  be  accused  of  such  inconceivable  infamy 
without  proper  evidence?  Where  are  the  proofs  pro- 
duced by  Suetonius  ?  There  are  none.  Who  has  ever 
seen  an  old  judge,  chancellor,  king,  assemble  about 
him  a  hundred  attendants  to  partake  with  him  in  such 
abominable  orgies,  to  be  an  object  of  ridicule,  of  con- 
tempt to  them  ? The  hard  and  crafty   Tiberius  was 

execrated:  and  because  in  his  advanced  old  age  he  re- 
ired  to  Capri,  it  was  at  once  alleged  that  he  had  gone 
there  to  devote  himself  to  the  most  unworthy  debau- 
ches   I  presume  that  the  malicious  Tacitus,  and  that 

anecdote-collector  Suetonius,  tasted  supreme  satisfaction 
in  decrying  their  masters  at  a  time  when  nobody 
troubled  himself  to  discuss  the  truth  of  what  was  told. 
Our  copyists  of  all  countries  have  repeated  these  base- 
less tales.  They  resemble  not  a  little  the  historians 
of  the  Middle  Ages  who  followed  the  dreams  of  the 
monks.  These  latter  blasted  the  reputations  of  all  the 
princes  who  did  not  give  them  largess,  and  so  Tacitus 
and  Suetonius  set  themselves  to  render  odious  the 
whole  family  of  the  oppressor  Octavius  \  ("  Le 
Pyrrhonisme  de  I'histoire  \  Oeuvres  de  Voltaire). 

Those  who  would  make  themselves  more  fully  in- 
formed, as  to  the  evidence  that  exists,  to  doubt  the 
truthfulness  of  the  testimony  of  Tacitus  against  Tibe- 
rius, should  consult  the  works  of  three  very  competent 
scholars:  —  Sievers —  "  Studien  zur  Geschichte  der  Ro- 
mischen  Kaiser";  Freytag  —  "  Tiberius  und  Tacitus  "; — 
Stahr  —  "  Tiberius  \ 

86  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

8  —  Conclusions  arrived  at  from  a  study  of  the 
busts,  cameos,  and  reliefs  of  Tiberius. 

Attempting,  as  we  have  been,  throughout  this  chap- 
ter to  gather  every  tittle  of  evidence  that  may  throw  a 
gleam  of  light  on  the  very  contradictory  qualities  of 
the  character  of  Tiberius,  it  would  be  manifestly  unjust 
and  incomplete  on  our  part  to  ignore  the  evidence  of 
the  numerous  busts,  which  are  known  to  us.  The  study 
of  phrenology  and  physiognomy  has  long  emerged 
from  the  empiric  stage,  and  deserves  now  to  be  con- 
sidered as  a  science.  There  are  in  existence  and  known 
to  us  over  forty  busts  of  Tiberius,  but  while  examining 
and  comparing  the  prominent  features  conspicuous  in 
each,  the  student  must  be  careful  not  to  accept  blindly 
and  without  discrimination  and  comparison  every  so- 
called  bust  of  Tiberius.  For  instance  there  is  consider- 
able doubt  as  to  the  authenticity  of  the  so  called  veiled 
bust  of  Tiberius  as  Pontifex  Maximus  or  Augur ,  now 
in  the  British  Museum,  and  which  was  found  in  Capri 
and  sold  to  the  Governors  of  the  British  Museum  in 
1873.  This  bust  differs  in  so  many  respects,  especially 
in  the  chin  and  lower  face,  and  has  indeed  so  few 
points  of  resemblance  in  common  with  the  undoubted 
busts  or  statues  of  the  Emperor,  that  to  say  the  least, 
it  would  be  most  rash  to  draw  any  inference  of  cha- 
racter therefrom. 

"  In  comparing  the  portraits  of  Augustus  and  Ti- 
berius ",  says  M.  Mayor,  "  we  observe  essential  dif- 
ferences. The  skull  of  Tiberius  is  squarer.  The  expres- 
sion is  less  false,  less  cunning,  but  much  more  power- 
ful. The  width  between  the  parietal  bones  —  great  in 
Augustus  —  is    enormous   in   Tiberius.    The   nose   is 


larger,  stronger  in  structure,  more  blunted.  The  jaw 
is  more  powerful,  more  salient.  The  ears  heavier  and 
more  projecting.  The  chin  well  marked  ,  with  a 
dent  ^ 

Bernoulli ,  the  greatest  authority  on  Roman  por- 
traiture says;  "  About  the  delicate  mouth  plays  a  smile 
of  superiority,  whilst,  perhaps  hard  thoughts  slumber 
under  the  brow.  The  preponderating  expression  in 
the  face  is  one  of  nobility,  far  removed  from  indicating 
such  a  character  as  Tacitus  described  ". 

Baring-Gould  remarks;  "  There  remain  over  forty 
statues  and  busts  of  Tiberius,  and  we  are  able  to  form 
a  very  tolerable  conception  of  the  appearance  of  the 
emperor  when  in  his  prime  of  vigour  and  beauty. 
They  all  show  us  a  singulary  broad  brow,  lofty,  the 
forehead  advancing.  The  nose  is  finely  moulded  and 
thin,  well  bridged;  the  face  wide  at  the  cheek-bones , 
but  thence  rapidly  narrowing  to  a  small  chin.  The 
mouth  is  refined  and  beautiful,  drawn  back  between  the 
nose  and  projecting  chin.  The  skull  is  flat,  or  with  a 
very  low  arch,  and  in  this  it  is  as  different  as  possible 
from  the  head  of  Julius  Caesar.  The  flatness  of  the 
skull  is  sometimes  disguised  by  the  hair  being  heaped 
up  on  the  top,  or  by  a  civic  crown.  The  width  in  the 
head  of  Caesar  was  between  the  ears;  that  in  Tiberius 
is  between  the  temples.  The  brows  are  not  arched  but 
straight,  except  in  early  years.  There  was  no  attempt 
made  by  the  artists  to  Grecise  the  face  of  Tiberius , 
which  diverges  widely  from  the  Greek  type  of  beauty. 
He  was  represented  in  the  fullness  of  manhood  long 
after  he  had  begun  to  be  old,  but  no  attempt  was 
made  to  rectify  the  angles  of  his  face,  and  to  straighten 

88  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

his  nose  into  line  with  the  brow.  The  lower  h'p  re- 
treats, and  is  small.  There  is  no  projection  of  the 
upper  lip.  Indeed  the  breadth  of  brow,  the  rapid  nar- 
rowing to  the  small  chin,  and  the  peculiar  mouth  are 
the  three  characteristics  of  the  head  of  Tiberius  that 
distinguish  it ".  ("Tragedy  of  the  Caesars",  Baring-Gould, 
p.  378).  . 

Capri  in  the  Middle  Ages ;  and  more  recent  times. 

After  the  death  of  Tiberius,  Capri  instead  of  being 
the  favourite  and  play  thing  of  Emperors,  became  for 
many  centuries  the  happy  hunting-ground  of  Corsairs. 
It  is  true  that  occasional  flashes  of  royal  distinction 
shone  upon  her  shores ,  but  they  were  brief  and  tran- 
sient ;  for  instance ,  the  Emperor  Caligula  at  the  age 
of  twenty,  assumed  the  manly  "  toga  "  and  shaved  his 
head  at  Capri  on  the  same  day.  (Suet.  Cal.  Chap.  XI). 

We  learn  from  Dion,  that  the  Emperor  Commodus 
sent  his  wife  Crispina,  and  his  sister  Lucilla,  as  exiles 
to  Capri,  which  may  or  may  not  be  taken  as  a  com- 
plement to  the  island:  the  supposed  remains  of  the 
said  Lucilla  were  found  in  1890  in  a  sarcophagus, 
which  may  now  be  seen  at  the  Hotel  Qrotte  Bleue. 
(See  Chapter  '  Site  of  old  City  "). 

Upon  the  fall  of  the  Western  Empire ,  the  island 
of  Capri  was  joined  to  the  territory  of  Sorrento,  which 
was  itself  subject  to  the  Dukes  of  Naples. 

The  first  written  mention  of  the  island  in  Christian 
times  occurs  in  the  sixth  Century,  when  we  learn  that 

90  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

during  the  pontificate  of  Gregory  the  Great,  a  monas- 
tery of  the  monks  of  Monte  Cassino  was  in  existence 
at  Capri.  The  Pope  reported  to  John,  Bishop  of  Sor- 
rento, the  petition  of  one  Savino,  who  sought  to  de- 
posit the  remains  of  St.  Agatha  in  his  monastery,  which 
was  dedicated  to  St.  Stephen.  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  490). 
In  the  year  812  a  fleet  of  forty  Saracen  vessels 
entered  the  Bay  of  Naples,  and  ravaged  that  city  and 
the  adjacent  towns.  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  312).  It  is 
probable  that  Capri  did  not  escape  this  predatory  ex- 
pedition, and  from  this  time  until  the  begining  of  the 
19th  Century,  our  unhappy  island  knew  no  respite 
from  the  ravages  of  pirates,  who  under  the  various 
names  of  Saracens,  Moors,  Turks,  or  Barbary  Corsairs, 
sometimes  in  alliance  with  one  naval  power,  and  some- 
times with  another  ,  ravaged  the  Mediteranean  from 
east  to  west,  and  were  a  constant  terror  to  the  towns 
and  villages  fringing  the  coast,  and  still  more  to  the 
unprotected  islands.  The  Saracens  had  established  col- 
onies in  Sicily  in  828 ,  which  till  then  had  been  sub- 
ject to  the  Greek  Empire ,  and  a  few  years  later 
passed  over  into  Southern  Italy.  About  the  year  860 
the  Saracens  established  themselves  at  the  Acropolis, 
an  ancient  castle  about  five  miles  to  the  south 
of  Paestum.  This  spot  had  all  the  requisites  for  a 
pirate  stronghold,  it  was  strong  by  nature,  and  still  fur- 
ther strengthened  by  walls  and  towers.  There  was  good 
anchorage,  the  air  was  pure  and  healthy ,  there  was 
plenty  of  water,  and  ample  supplies  of  necessary  pro- 
visions could  be  obtained  from  the  fertile  regions  in  the 
rear,  while  the  sea  teemed  with  fish.  The  Saracens  ren- 
dered the  place  impregnable,  filled  it  with  desperadoes. 


and  it  remained  till  915    a    menace   to   the    coast   for 
many  miles  around.  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  329-334). 

We  now  come  to  868;  in  this  year  Servius  Duke 
of  Naples ,  having  imprisoned  his  uncle  Athanasius , 
Bishop  of  Naples,  in  the  Castello  dell'  Uovo,  the  Em- 
peror directed  Marino  ,  Doge  of  Amalfi ,  to  proceed 
with  a  fleet  to  Naples  and  rescue  the  incarcerated  Bish- 
op. A  fierce  encounter  took  place  between  the  Nea- 
politans and  the  Amalfitans:  the  latter  finally  succeeded 
in  liberating  Athanasius ,  and  conducted  him  to  Sor- 
rento. As  a  reward  for  this  important  service  the  island 
of  Capri  was  transferred  to  the  Doge  of  Amalfi. 
(  "  Storia  di  Amalfi  "  Vol.  1  p.  37  ).  it  is  necessary 
here  to  remind  the  reader ,  who  merely  remembers 
Amalfi,  as  an  insignificant  town  infested  by  importunate 
beggars ,  that  at  the  period  of  which  we  are  treating 
it  was  a  republic  of  great  strength  and  importance, 
ruled  over  by  a  Doge.  The  following  account  from 
Gibbon's  "  Decline  and  Fall  of  the  Roman  Empire  ", 
gives  the  fullest  and  most  convincing  proof  of  the  po- 
sition occupied  by  Amalfi ;  "  Fifty  thousand  citizens  were 
numbered  in  the  walls  of  Amalfi ;  nor  was  any  city 
more  abundantly  provided  with  gold ,  silver ,  and  the 
objects  of  precious  luxury.  The  mariners  who  swarmed 
in  her  port ,  excelled  in  the  theory  and  practice  of 
navigation  and  astronomy :  and  the  discovery  of  the 
compass,  which  has  opened  the  globe,  is  due  to  their 
ingenuity  or  good  fortune.  Their  trade  was  extended 
to  the  coasts,  or  at  least  to  the  commodities  of  Africa, 
Arabia,  and  India:  and  their  settlements  in  Constanti- 
nople, Antioch,  Jerusalem  and  Alexandria,  acquired  the 
privileges  of  independant  colonies.  ( "  Roman  Empire  ". 

92  THE   BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

Gibbon,  Vol.  V  p.  463 ).  This  passage  from  Gibbon 
may  well  be  supplemented  by  the  following  lines  from 
"  Sketches  in  Italy  "  by  John  Addington  Symonds.  "  Be- 
tween the  year  839  A.  D.,  when  Amalfi  freed  itself 
from  the  control  of  Naples  and  the  yoke  of  Benevento, 
and  the  year  1131  ,  when  Roger  of  Hautville  incorpo- 
rated the  republic  in  his  kingdom  of  the  Two  Sicilies, 
this  city  was  the  foremost  naval  and  commercial  port 
of  Italy.  The  burghers  of  Amalfi  elected  their  own 
doge :  founded  the  Hospital  of  Jerusalem,  whence  sprang 
the  knightly  order  of  St.  John  :  gave  their  name  to  the 
richest  quarter  of  Palermo :  and  owned  trading  establish- 
ments or  factories  in  all  the  chief  cities  of  the  Levant. 
Their  gold  coinage  of  "  tari  "  formed  the  standard  of 
currency  before  the  Florentines  had  stamped  the  lily 
and  St.  John  upon  the  Tuscan  florin.  Their  shipping 
regulations  supplied  Europe  with  a  code  of  maritime 
laws.  Their  scholars,  in  the  darkest  depth  of  the  dark 
ages ,  prized  and  conned  a  famous  copy  of  the  Pan- 
dects of  Justinian  :  and  their  seamen  deserved  the  fame 
of  having  first  used,  if  they  did  not  actually  invent,  the 
compass  \ 

In  920  a  bloody  naval  battle  took  place  in  the 
Gulf  of  Naples  between  the  Neapolitans  and  Saracens, 
in  which  the  latter  were  beaten,  their  ships  destroyed, 
and  the  greater  part  of  them  made  prisoners.  One  of 
the  Saracen  ships  attempted  to  take  refuge  at  Capri , 
but  the  sturdy  islanders  captured  the  vessel ,  and  put 
every  pirate  to  the  sword.  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  339). 

In  the  early  part  of  the  year  1000  there  arrived  at 
Salerno  and  afterwards  in  Apulia,  Norman  adventurers 
under  Roger  XII ,   the  last   of   the   sons   of  Tancred , 


whose  youth  beauty  and  elegance  of  manners  sec- 
ured for  him  the  love  of  his  soldiers.  "  In  the  first 
attempt  Roger  braved  in  an  open  boat  the  real  and 
fancied  dangers  of  Scylla  and  Carybdis:  landed  with 
only  sixty  soldiers  on  a  hostile  shore,  drove  the  Sara- 
cens to  the  gates  of  Messina,  and  safely  returned  with 
the  spoils  of  the  adjacent  country  \  (Gibbon,  Vol.  V. 
p.  464).  At  the  siege  of  Irani,  300  Normans  withstood 
and  repulsed  the  forces  of  the  island,  and  on  the  field 
of  Ceramio,  50,000  horse  and  foot  were  overwhelmed 
by  136  Christian  soldiers.  In  1041  the  Normans  con- 
quered Apulia,  in  1060  Calabria,  and  from  1061-1090 
Sicily,  in  all  which  deeds  of  prowess  Roger  was  sec- 
onded and  assisted  by  the  zeal  and  policy  of  his  bro- 
ther Guiscard.  In  1131  Amalfi  surrendered  to  the 
Normans,  and  in  1138  the  city  of  Naples,  though  in 
turn  helped  by  the  Emperor  of  Germany  and  the  re- 
public of  Pisa,  was  forced  to  surrender  to  the  Normans. 
C  Italian  Republics  \  Sismondi ,  pp.  27.  28).  Local 
chroniclers  tell  us  that  the  Caprese  not  wishing  to 
submit  to  the  Normans,  retreated  to  the  castle  of 
Barbarossa,  where  they  withstood  a  siege ;  but  were  at 
last  obliged  to  capitulate  from  want  of  provisions. 
(Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  351). 

The  Sicilian  Vespers,  March  30  1282,  engineered 
by  John  of  Procida ,  took  place  at  Palermo.  Every 
town  in  Sicily  followed  the  example  of  Palermo.  The 
tyranny  of  Charles  of  Anjou  and  the  Guelphs  was 
overthrown  ,  and  the  kingdom  of  Sicily  was  separated 
from  that  of  Naples.  After  a  war  of  twenty  years, 
the  crown  of  Sicily  was  transferred  to  don  Pedro  of 
Arragon ,  son-in-law  of  Manfred  ,  who  was  considered 

94  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

the  heir  to  the  house  of  Hohenstaufen  ,  while  Naples 
continued  to  be  ruled  by  the  house  of  Anjou.  (Gibbon 
Vol.  VI,  pp.  164-166). 

"  Charles  of  Anjou,  the  first  French  king  of  the 
two  Sicilies ,  survived  the  Sicilian  Vespers  only  three 
years.  He  died  on  January  7,  1285.  At  this  period 
his  son  Charles  II  was  a  prisoner  in  the  hands  of  the 
Sicilians:  he  was  set  at  liberty  in  1288,  in  persuance 
of  a  treaty,  by  which  he  acknowledged  the  separation 
and  independance  of  the  two  crowns  of  Naples  and 
Sicily.  The  first  was  assigned  to  the  Guelphs  and  the 
house  of  Anjou ,  the  second  to  the  Gibellines  and  the 
house  of  Arragon.  Chads  II  however  broke  his  oath , 
and  the  war  between  Naples  and  Sicily  was  renewed 
and  lasted  twenty  four  years  \  ("  Italian  Republics  \ 
Sismondi,  p.  104).  In  the  course  of  this  war  Capri 
was  attacked  by  a  Sicilian  fleet  under  Bernardo  di 
Sarriano,  who  captured  the  island,  and  leaving  a  small 
garrison  attacked  and  captured  also  the  adjoining  island 
of  Procida  :  both  islands  were  however  soon  afterwards 
restored  to  Charles  II.  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  353,354).  The 
islanders  proved  themselves  loyal  and  devoted  to  the 
king,  who  having  regard  to  the  sterility  and  poverty 
of  the  island,  by  a  Decree  of  Dec.  20th  1299  exempted 
them  from  the  payment  of  all  royal  dues.  (Mang.  Ric. 
Stor.  p.  354). 

In  1309  Robert  the  "  Wise  "  succeeded  Charles  as 
King  of  Naples ,  and  confirmed  to  the  Caprese  their 
privileges  of  exemption  by  a  Decree  dated  Aug.  20 
1330.  As  famine  prevailed  and  starvation  was  immi- 
nent, the  King   permitted  them    to    import   from   the 


mainland  346,00  kilogrammes  of  grain  yearly.   (Mang. 
Ric.  Stor.  p.  355). 

The  next  sovereign  of  Naples  was  Joanna  I,  daughter 
of  Charles  Duke  of  Calabria,  and  niece  of  Robert. 
In  recognition  of  the  loyalty  and  devotion  of  the 
islanders  to  her  house,  their  usefulness  to  the  arsenal 
of  Naples  in  repairing  ships ,  and  the  sterility  of  the 
island,  which  at  that  time  was  always  on  the  brink  of 
a  famine,  (even  today  it  is  far  from  self-supporting). 
Queen  Joanna  by  a  Decree  of  Feb.  7  1344,  exempted 
the  Caprese  from  the  laws  which  prohibited  the  im- 
portation of  grain  from  the  mainland.  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor. 
p.  356).  Giacomi  Arcucci ,  Count  of  Minervino  and 
Altamura,  who  was  the  most  notable  resident  in  Capri, 
and  was  Queen  Joanna's  Secretary  and  Chamberlain, 
having  made  a  vow  to  found  a  Monastery  of  Carthu- 
sians on  the  island  ,  (probably  as  slight  palliation  for 
his  sins ,  for  the  Court  of  Naples  was  at  that  time 
extremly  gay)  Queen  Joanna  lent  him  her  assistance 
in  every  way,  and  by  a  Deed  of  May  1st  1371  granted 
considerable  tracts  of  the  richest  land  on  the  island,  to 
the  use  of  his  newly  founded  Monastery  of  Certosa. 
(Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  pp.  356  &  357). 

in  1386  Ladislaus ,  being  at  that  time  only  ten 
years  old,  succeeded  to  the  throne  of  Naples;  but  his 
claims  were  contested  by  Louis  11  of  Anjou.  "  The 
war  between  the  two  aspirants  ruined  the  kingdom  of 
Naples  during  the  latter  part  of  the  14th  century,  and 
destroyed  its  influence  over  the  rest  of  Italy.  It  was 
not  till  1399  that  Ladislaus  succeeded  in  driving  out 
the  princes  of  Anjou ,  and  subduing  the  kingdom  \ 
("  Italian  Republics.  "  Sismondi,    p.  210).     During   his 

96  •  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

reign  the  guard  of  the  castle  of  Capri  mutinied  ,  and 
attempted  to  murder  the  commandant  and  escape  from 
the  island  ,  the  islanders  (who  it  will  be  remarked 
always  had  an  eye  to  the  main  chance)  informed  the 
Governor  of  the  conspiracy,  which  consequently  proved 
abortive.  To  reward  the  Caprese  for  their  action  on 
this  occasion,  the  King  by  a  Decree,  dated  March  12 
1408,  exempted  them  from  the  payment  of  taxes  and 
exactions  of  all  kinds.  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  358). 

In  1414  Joanna  11  ascended  the  throne  of  Naples, 
and  by  a  Decree  of  Sept.  18  1414,  and  by  a  further 
Decree  in  1428,  (the  previous  one  having  been  lost), 
ratified  and  renewed  the  privileges  granted  to  Capri. 
(Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  359). 

On  the  death  of  Joanna  11,  Renato  of  Anjou,  who 
had  been  nominated  by  Joanna ,  succeeded  in  1435. 
The  Barons  of  Naples  favoured  the  claims  of  Alfonso, 
and  as  usual  in  these  stormy  times,  war  between  Re- 
nato and  Alfonso  was  the  result.  During  this  war  a 
priest  of  Capri  went  to  the  camp  of  Alfonso  at  Capua, 
and  offered  him  the  allegiance  of  the  island  of  Capri. 
Alfonso  accepted,  and  sent  six  galleys  to  take  possess- 
ion of  the  island.  A  short  time  after  a  vessel  reached 
Capri  from  France,  having  on  board  80,000  scudi  for 
Renato,  and  the  Captain  being  unaware  of  the  political 
change  of  heart  that  had  moved  the  Caprese,  landed, 
whereupon  the  islanders  seized  the  treasure ,  and  sent 
it  to  Alfonso.  (Canale  p.  206  and  Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  362). 
The  capture  of  so  large  a  treasure  was  disastrous  to 
Renato,  who  was  in  sore  straits  for  money  to  satisfy 
his  soldiers,  whose  pay  was  already  in  arrear.  Alfonso 
on  the  other  hand  greatly  benefited    by  this  wind-fall; 


he  renewed  his  efforts  to  capture  Naples,  and  on  June 
2nd  1442  succeeded  in  entering  the  city  through  an 

Alfonso  1  was  succeeded  by  Ferdinand ,  who  in 
1482  again  ratified  the  privileges  conferred  on  the 
island.  By  a  further  Decree  of  1491  he  ordered  that 
the  fees  received  by  the  Mastrodattia,  of  the  two  Com- 
munes of  Capri  and  Anacapri  should  be  expended  on 
the  restoration  of  the  walls  of  the  town  of  Capri. 
(Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  366). 

Alfonso  II  followed  Ferdinand :  this  sovereign  by  a 
Decree  of  May  15  1494  not  only  ratified  their  former 
privileges ,  but  granted  them  still  further  exemptions. 
The  reign  of  Alfonso  11  was  of  short  duration ,  for 
being  threatened  by  Charles  Vlll  of  France,  he  fled  to 
Sicily,  and  abdicated  in  favour  of  his  son  Ferdinand  II. 
(Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  367). 

Ferdinand  II  was  succeeded  by  Frederick  of  Ar- 
ragon,  son  of  Ferdinand  I.  This  sovereign,  recognising 
the  greivances  of  the  people  of  Anacapri ,  who  were 
oppressed  by  the  people  of  Capri,  by  a  Decree  dated 
Oct.  24  1496  separated  the  government  of  the  two 
Communes,  and  ordered  that  all  disputes  arising  between 
them  should  be  referred  for  decision  to  the  courts  of 
Naples,  and  conferred  on  the  people  of  Anacapri  (called 
in  the  Decree  "  Donnacapri  ")  all  the  privileges  and  im- 
munities enjoyed  by  the  inhabitants  of  Ischia  and 
Procida.  Frederick  was  attacked  by  the  Kings  of  France 
and  Spain,  was  forced  to  take  flight  to  Ischia,  and  sur- 
rendered to  Louis,  by  whom  he  was  sent  to  Tours, 
in  which  city  he  died  in  exile  in  1504,  and  with  him 
perished  the  House  of  Arragon.    (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  pp. 


98  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

370,  371).  Hostilities  at  once  broke  out  between  the 
French  and  Spaniards.  The  French  army  was  entirely 
destroyed  on  June  19  1502  at  the  battle  of  Atripalda, 
and  by  the  surrender  of  Gaeta  to  Gonzales  on  Jan. 
1st  1504,  the  whole  kingdom  of  Naples,  like  Sicily, 
became  a  Spanish  possession.  ("  Italian  Republics  \ 
Sismondi  pp.  301,  302). 

In  1507  Ferdinand  of  Spain  ratified  the  privileges 
and  immunities  granted  to  Capri.  He  died  in  1516  and 
Charles,  Archduke  of  Austria,  became  sovereign  of  the 
kingdom  of  Naples.  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  372).  During 
the  reign  of  the  Austrians  the  government  of  Naples 
and  the  Gulf  was  entrusted  to  Viceroys.  The  people 
of  Capri  seem  to  have  been  always  docile  and  faithful 
to  whatever  ruling  power  was  in  the  ascendant,  and 
were  rewarded  for  their  pliancy  by  special  protection  , 
immunities,  and  exemptions. 

The  local  chroniclers  say  that  in  1535  the  famous 
Barbary  Corsair  Barbarossa,  Kheyr-ed-din,  at  that  time 
Admiral  of  the  fleet  of  Solyman  the  Magnificent,  ente- 
red the  Gulf  of  Naples  with  a  huge  fleet ,  and  spread 
ruin  and  devastation  all  along  the  coast,  and  that  among 
other  places  Capri  was  attacked.  (Man,  Ric.  Stor.  p. 
375).  The  Barbary  Corsairs  play  so  important  part  in 
the  wars  of  these  times  and  affect  so  seriously  the  bal- 
ance of  power  along  the  whole  coast  of  the  Mediter- 
ranean, that  some  short  account  should  here  be  given 
of  their  rise  and  power,  and  of  the  career  of  their 
greatest  leader,  and  most  romantic  figure,  Barbarossa, 
Kheyrd-ed-din.  When  Ferdinand  and  Isabella  drove  the 
Spanish  Moors  from  Granada,  thousands  of  desperate 
Moors  left  Spain,  and  unwilling  to  live  under  the  Span- 


ish  rule,  crossed  over  to  Africa,  where  they  estabh'shed 
themselves  at  various  points,  but  notably  at  Algiers. 
The  Barbary  coast  which  extended  from  Tangier  to 
Tripoli ,  was  just  the  coast  line  most  suitable  for  the 
operations  of  pirates.  The  map  shows  a  series  of 
natural  harbours ,  at  the  back  of  which  were  often 
lagunes,  specially  fitted  for  the  escape  of  light  draught 
vessels;  "  the  mountains  rose  steep  and  high  near  the 
coast,  so  that  the  Corsairs  could  sight  the  vessels  to 
be  attacked  a  long  way  out  to  sea ,  and  thus  give 
notice  of  a  prize,  or  warning  of  an  enemy  "  ;  in  addition 
to  these  desiderata  for  a  pirate  Eldorado,  "  the  coast 
was  visited  by  terrible  gales ,  which  while  avoidable  by 
those  who  had  experience  and  knew  where  to  run,  were 
fatal  to  the  unwary,  and  foiled  many  an  attack  of  the 
avenging  enemy  \  ( "  Barbary  Corsairs  \  Lane-Poole, 
pp.  16  to  21). 

Undoubtedly  the  greatest  of  the  Corsairs  was 
Kheyr-ed-din,  the  Barbarossa  of  modern  writers,  though 
he  was  never  so  called  by  Turks  or  Moors.  While 
endowed  with  marvellous  courage  and  determination, 
"  he  was  gifted  with  prudent  and  statesmanlike  intelli- 
gence, which  led  him  to  greater  enterprises  (than  his 
brother)  though  not  to  more  daring  exploits.  He  meas- 
ured the  risk  by  the  end ,  and  never  exposed  himself 
needlessly  to  the  hazard  of  defeat ;  but  when  he  saw 
his  way  clear,  none  struck  harder  or  more  effectual 
blows  ".  "  (Barbary  Corsairs  \  Lane-Poole,  pp.  53, 
54).  Everything  that  Kheyr-ed-din  undertook  succeed- 
ed. His  fleet  increased  month  by  month,  till  he  had 
36  galleots  perpetually  cruising  about  in  search  of 
victims.    The  foundries  of  Algiers  were  constantly  kept 

100  THE   BOOK   OF  CAPRI 

employed  to  supply  his  fleet,  and  seven  thousand  Chris- 
tian slaves  laboured  to  strengthen  the  defences  of  the 
harbour,  Soleyman  the  Magnificent  saw  the  necessity 
for  a  combination  with  the  Turkish  Corsairs,  who  by 
the  capture  of  Algiers,  and  the  establishment  of  numer- 
ous garrisons  on  the  Barbary  coast,  held  the  command 
of  the  western  basin  of  the  Mediterranean.  According- 
ly Kheyr-ed-din  received  the  Imperial  command  to  pre- 
sent himself  at  Constantinople.  He  was  not  however 
inclined  to  weaken  his  importance  in  the  Sultan's  eyes 
by  a  too  ready  compliance  with  his  orders.  It  was 
not  till  1533  that  having  appointed  Hasan  Aga,  a  Sar- 
dinian eunuch,  to  be  his  Viceroy,  Kheyr-ed-din  set  sail 
from  Algiers,  and  arrived  in  due  course  at  the  Golden 
Horn,  where  he  was  enthusiastically  received  and  ap- 
pointed to  reconstruct  the  Ottoman  navy.  He  found 
that  the  Turks  of  Constantinople  were  ignorant  of  how 
to  build  or  work  their  own  galleys.  During  the  winter 
he  built  sixty  one  galleys,  and  in  the  following  spring 
(1534)  was  able  to  take  the  sea  with  a  fleet  of  eighty 
four  vessels:  entering  the  straits  of  Messina ,  he  sur- 
prised Reggio.  (Barbary  Corsair.  Lane-Poole,  pp.  76-86). 
It  was  during  this  raid,  which  ended  in  the  capture  of 
Tunis,  that  Kheyr-ed-din  ravaged  the  Bay  of  Naples , 
and  as  local  historians  relate,  landed  at  Capri,  where 
he  destroyed  the  most  formidable  fortress  on  the  island, 
which  since  that  time  has  borne  the  name  of  Barba- 
rossa.  It  is  also  said  that  during  this  attack  on  Capri, 
the  ancient  walls  of  the  city  were  finally  destroyed, 
and  many  of  the  inhabitants  abandoned  entirely  their 
island,  and  fled  to  the  mainland.  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor. 
p.   376). 


The  Viceroy,  Pietro  di  Toledo,  after  this  disas- 
trous attack  by  the  Corsairs  permitted  the  Caprese 
to  keep  and  bear  arms,  because,  "  owing  to  the  per- 
petual incursions  of  barbarians,  they  were  compelled 
to  stand  always  to  arms  to  defend  their  lives  and 
property  from  their  voracity  ".  (Man.  Ric.  Stor. 
p.  377). 

In  the  year  1656  Naples  was  visited  by  the  Plague, 
which  was  imported  by  a  ship  of  Sardinia:  in  a 
short  time  the  scourge  spread  to  Gaeta ,  Sorrento , 
Paola,  and  to  the  provinces  of  Otranto  and  Calabria; 
it  is  said  that  during  six  months  300,000  persons 
died  of  this  dread  disease.  The  Plague  was  intro- 
duced into  Capri  in  the  following  manner;  a  young 
lady  of  the  noble  family  of  Morcaldi,  having  died  of 
the  disease  in  Naples,  her  family  sent  a  tress  of  her 
hair  and  some  articles  of  clothing  to  her  relations 
in  Capri,  which  the  ignorant  and  careless  guards  per- 
mitted to  be  landed.  At  first  the  Plague  attacked 
only  the  poorer  classes,  but  soon  the  rich  also  were 
infected.  Physicians  and  medicine  could  not  be  ob- 
tained ,  so  that  the  malady  spread  unchecked,  until 
the  whole  island  was  attacked.  The  only  persons 
who  escaped  from  the  awful  visitation  were  the  monks 
of  Certosa,  who  on  the  first  appearance  of  the  Plague, 
with  inconceivable  cowardice  and  selfishness,  shut 
themselves  up  in  their  monastery,  and  communicated 
with  none  outside  its  walls.  The  deaths  were  so 
numerous  that  it  was  found  impossible  to  provide 
any  sort  of  decent  burial,  and  the  corpses  were  left 
where  they  died,  exposed  to  the  elements ,  and  the 
"ravages  of  beasts.     "  From  this  scourge  perished  the 

102  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

greater  part  of  the  inhabitants  as  well  as  the  princi- 
pal people  of  the  island,  and  all  the  priests.  (Mang. 
Ric.  Stor.  pp.  378-382).  Many  families  who  owned 
land  were  exterminated ,  and  the  Carthusian  monks, 
who  were  strong  and  hearty,  having  taken  excellent 
care  of  themselves  inside  their  monastery  walls,  prompt- 
ly absorbed  these  unclaimed  lands  ,  and  so  became 
possessed  of  the  larger  and  richer  part  of    the  island. 

Under  Charles  II  of  Spain,  the  privileges  that  the 
Caprese  had  enjoyed  under  previous  rulers  were  con- 
firmed, but  instead  of  a  civic  governor  annually  ap- 
pointed, a  military  officer  was  sent  to  rule  Capri  (1670), 
assisted  by  an  assessor  learned  in  the  civil  law.  This 
apparent  benefit,  turned  out  however  to  be  really  a 
grievance,  for  the  assessor  resided  in  Naples ,  and  it 
was  necessary  for  those  engaged  in  law  suits  to  go 
themselves  to  Naples,  which  was  often  impossible  owing 
to  bad  weather,  and  in  any  case  increased  the  cost  of 
litigation.     (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  385,  386). 

In  1734  Charles  Bourbon  ,  son  of  Philip  V,  of 
Spain,  ascended  the  throne  of  Naples;  the  rule  of  the 
Bourbons  began,  and  Charles  by  right  of  birth  and 
conquest,  ruled  over  the  two  Sicilies.  The  attacks  of 
Turkish  Corsairs  were  even  at  this  time  a  constant 
menace,  and  during  this  reign  the  defence  of  the  island 
was  better  organised,  for  guards  were  placed  to  watch 
the  various  landing-places,  and  a  system  of  signals  was 
arranged  by  which  the  armed  Caprese  could  be  con- 
centrated at  any  given  point.  A  large  supply  of  pro- 
visions was  stored  both  in  the  village  of  Capri ,  and 
also  at  Anacapri,  at  the  public  expense ,  so  that  during 
the  stormy  months   of  winter,   when   intercourse  with 


the  mainland  was  interrupted,  the  islanders    might  not 
suffer    from  famine.     (Mang.    Ric.    Stor.    p.    388,  389) 

The  Bourbons  were  from  the  first  notable  patrons  of 
the  arts,  and  collectors  of  the  rare  and  beautiful.  Charles 
caused  the  foundations  of  Villa  Jovis  to  be  excava- 
ted, and  presented  to  the  Cathedral  of  Capri  a  magnif- 
icent pavement  of  variously  coloured  marbles  found 
in  a  subterranean  chamber  there.  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor. 
p.  390.    See  also  Chapter,  Villa  Jovis). 

Ferdinand  IV,  the  son  and  successor  of  Charles  , 
often  visited  the  island  for  quail  hunting.  He  encour- 
aged the  preservation  of  this  sporting  little  bird,  and 
offered  rewards  for  the  destruction  of  the  snakes  which 
destroyed  their  eggs.  During  his. hunting  trips  to  Capri, 
Ferdinand  made  the  Palazzo  Inglese  his  headquar- 
ters. The  king  frequently  held  reviews  of  the  local 
militia  of  the  island,  which  was  not  subject  to  military 
service  outside  the  island.  Here  is  a  description. of  one 
of  these  reviews,  by  Hadrava;  "  Every  year  there  is  a 
parade  during  which  every  one  of  the  arms-bearing 
population  must  present  himself  with  his  gun,  and  am- 
munition consisting  of  three  balls  and  a  half  pound  of 
gun  powder.  Once  I  was  present  at  this  beatiful  ce- 
remony ,  at  which  1  saw  guns  without  any  barrels, 
which  with  the  powder  and  balls  were  borrowed  from 
the  old  men.  This  review  takes  place  in  the  spring, 
usually  on  the  day  of  San  Costanzo,  and  after  dinner, 
as  at  that  hour  the  men  exhibit  more  vigour  and  mil- 
itary ardour  ".    (Had.  Letter  XXXVIII). 

In  1758  both  the  towns  of  Capri  and  Anacapri 
sent  a  petition  to  the  King,  begging  him  to  replace  the 
military  by  a  civil  governor,   thus  putting  an    end   to 

104  THE    BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

the  expensive  and  prolonged  litigation  consequent  on 
the  judge's  residence  in  Naples :  this  petition  was  not 
brought  to  the  attention  of  the  King  till  1764  and  in 
November  of  that  year,  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  people, 
the  military  governor  was  removed,  and  as  in  earlier 
times,  Capri  was  ruled  by  a  civil  magistrate,  it  seems 
that  the  Caprese,  then  as  now,  were  somewhat  whim- 
sical, for  in  1782  (only  eighteen  later)  a  demonstration 
was  made  against  the  then  Governor,  Doctor  Marcello 
de  Angelis,  at  which  Hadrava  was  present,  and  describes 
in  the  following  formal  and  conscientious  manner; 
"  The  Governor  and  a  crowd  of  Capriots  awaited 
the  landing  of  the  King  and  his  party,  the  Governor  had 
learned  a  set  speech,  with  which  he  intended  to  wel- 
come his  Majesty  to  Capri:  but  on  the  stepping  ashore 
of  the  King,  the  cries  and  laments  of  the  men  and  wo- 
men drowned  his  voice,  and  finally  he  was  thrust  aside 
by  several  of  the  islanders,  who  drew  from  their  breasts 
bread,  broke  it ,  and  exhibited  its  bad  quality  to  the 
King.  Then  they  poured  forth  their  complaints  against 
the  Governor,  specifying  his  crimes  and  tyranny ,  and 
implored  that  they  might  be  freed  from  this  monster  in 
human  shape.  The  King  ,  at  the  time  ,  took  no  notice 
of  these  complaints,  but  during  his  stay  on  the  island 
made  enquiries,  and  on  the  day  of  his  departure  had 
the  Governor  arrested,  and  sent  him  for  trial  to  Naples, 
amid  the  hearty  applause  of  the  delighted  people  \  (Had. 
Letter  III). 

The  people  of  Capri  represented  that  they  were  a 
military  people,  and  could  only  be  controlled  by  a 
military  man  ,  and  therefore  prayed  his  Majesty  to  re- 


Store  to  them  their  mihtary  chief.  This  the  King  con- 
sented to  do,  and  appointed  Emmanuele  Diversi  as 
military  governor.  The  following  year  however  (1783) 
the  town  of  Anacapri  protested  against  his  misrule , 
alledging  that  living  as  he  did  in  Capri ,  he  favoured 
the  people  of  that  Commune  to  the  disadvantage  of 
the  more  remote  mountaineers  of  Anacapri.  Capri  on 
the  other  hand  was  perfectly  satisfied  with  the  governor's 
alledged  one-sided  justice.  The  matter  came  for  trial 
before  the  court  of  Salerno,  which  decided  that  not  only 
should  a  military  governor  reside  on  the  island  ,  and 
be  appointed  annually  but  that  a  civil  governor  should 
also  be  sent  to  Capri,  that  he  should  reside  permanently 
on  the  island  to  administer  civil  affairs ,  and  that  all 
his  expenses  should  be  defrayed  by  the  two  Communes. 
Which  was  rather  like  the  judgement  of  Solomon  ! 
(Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  396  &  397).  "  From  this  time 
elected  governors  were  sent  out  from  Naples ,  who 
governed  the  inhabitants  zealously  and  righteously,  and 
every  petition  presented  to  them  was  promptly  listened 
to  and  considered  \  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  400). 

In  1775  Doctor  Giraldi,  an  Italian,  went  to  Capri 
and  caused  excavations  to  be  made  to  a  depth  of  three 
or  four  feet ,  but  found  little  of  any  importance ,  he 
collected  however  from  the  peasants  all  the  antiquities 
which  they  had  found  in  cultivating  their  vineyards , 
and  wrote  a  short  descriptive  account  of  the  island 
and  his  stay  there:  the  most  interesting  part  of  his 
manuscript  refers  to  the  flora  of  Capri.  ("  Capri  "  Mac- 
kowen,  p.  86). 

in  1776  Monsignor  Gamboni  became  Bishop  of 
Capri.     "*  In  addition  to  forming  a  seminary  for  train- 

106  THE    BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

ing  young  men  for  the  priesthood ,  he  established 
four  other  schools,  one  of  which  was  devoted  to  agri- 
culture ,  and  instruction  in  naval  affairs.  He  also 
formed  a  school  for  girls,  in  which  they  were  taught 
not  only  reading  and  writing  but  also  how  to  prepare 
silk,  so  that  it  could  be  sold  as  ribands  and  scarfs  \ 
(Capri.  Mackowen.  p.  87). 

For  the  period  of  the  French  and  English  occu- 
pation of  Capri,  consult  Book  ill,  Chapter.  1. 

In  1815  the  Bourbons  resumed  the  reins  of  gov- 
ernment ,  and  the  old  order  namely,  a  civil  and  mili- 
tary governor ,  was  restored.  During  the  reign  of 
Ferdinand  I,  and  his  successors,  Francis  I,  and  Ferdi- 
nand II,  much  attention  was  paid  to  the  cultivation  of 
the  vine.  Choice  and  selected  vines  were  planted,  and 
great  care  bestowed  on  the  manufacture  of  the  wine , 
so  that  "  to  this  day  (1834)  the  wine  is  much  es- 
teemed, and  in  great  demand  for  its  singular  fullness 
and  delicacy  \     (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  429). 

Much  attention  was  also  given  to  the  improvement 
in  quantity  and  quality  of  olive  oil.  Bishop  Gamboni 
having  been  compelled,  on  account  of  political  troub- 
les in  1799,  to  seek  refuge  in  North  Italy,  the  school 
which  he  had  formed  was  closed.  In  1818  the  Bish- 
opric of  Capri  was  abolished,  and  the  island  came 
under  the  ecclesiastical  jurisdiction  of  the  Bishop  of 

Under  the  later  Bourbon  kings  Capri  was  used  as 
a  place  of  exile,  and  both  criminals,  and  political  pri- 
soners were  sent  to  its  shores. 


A  hospital  for  invalid  soldiers  was  also  formed  in 
the  Convent  of  Santa  Teresa ,  but  was  subsequently 
removed  to  Massa. 

"  In  1848  a  terrible  disaster  occurred,  which  al- 
most ruined  the  land-owners  and  peasants.  A  disease 
infected  the  vines,  and  so  great  was  the  damage  done 
that  in  1850  not  a  single  barrel  of  wine  was  made  on 
the  island  ".    (Capri.  Mackowen.  p.  114). 


Construction  of  Roman  masonry  and  pavements. 

"  The  methods  of  building  walls  in  Rome  may  be 
classified  thus  ; 

1.  "  Opus  quadratum  %  that  is  rectangular  blocks 
of  stone  set  either  with,  or  without  mortar. 

2.  *  Concrete",  either  unfaced,  or  faced. 

These  two  main  classes  really  include  the  whole 
system  of  building  employed  in  ancient  Rome.  The 
usual  classification  ,  which  makes  "  opus  incertum  " 
"  opus  reticulatum  "  and  "  opus  testaceum  "  or  brick, 
distinct  methods  of  construction  like  "  opus  quadratum  " 
is  wholly  misleading,  as  they  are  merely  used  as  thin 
facings  to  concrete  "  walls  ".  ("  Remains  of  Ancient 
Rome  ".  Middleton,  vol.  1  p.  37).  In  the  "  opus  qua- 
dratum '  at  first  tufa  was  the  only  material,  but  soon 
the  harder  *  peperino  "  was  employed.  The  use  of 
mortar  was  introduced  at  a  very  remote  period,  both 
in  Greece  and  Rome.  The  length  of  the  blocks,  as  a 
rule  varies.  Travertine  was  probably  not  much  used, 
before  the  first  century  B.  C.     "  When  used  for  walls, 

110  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

it  was  not  cut  into  regular  courses ,  as  the  tufa  and 
peperino  biocl^s  usually  were,  but  was  wori<ed  up  so 
as  to  involve  as  little  labour  as  possible,  and  the  least 
amount  of  waste,  being  both  much  harder  and  more 
valuable  than  tufa  or  even  peperino  ".  ("  Remains  of 
Ancient  Rome  \    Middleton,  vol.  I,   p,  40). 

Concrete;  "  structura  caementitia  ".  "  The  most 
striking  feature  in  the  construction  of  the  buildings  of 
ancient  Rome,  is  the  extensive  use  of  concrete  for  the 
most  varied  purposes.  (Vitruvius  VI,  8,  9,).  "  Immense 
beds  of  pozzolana  exist  over  the  Campagna  (and  also 
in  various  parts  of  Capri),  and  when  mixed  with  lime 
has  tlie  peculiar  property  of  forming  a  sort  of  natural 
hydraulic   cement ,    of  the  very   highest   excellence   in 

strength  ,  hardness ,  and  durability It  is  to  this 

remarkable  product  that  the  great  durability  of  the 
buildings  of  Imperial  Rome  is  due  \  ("  Remains  of 
Ancient  Rome^  Middleton.  Vol.  I,  p.  44).  Concrete  walls 
were  either  faced  or  unfaced.  The  unfaced  concrete 
was  employed  usually  for  the  walls  of  foundations  and 
substructures.  A  sort  of  wooden  box  was  formed,  into 
which  the  concrete  was  poured,  the  wall  was  in  fact 
cast ,  the  result  being  a  coherent  mass  like  a  solid 
block  of  stone.  (Middleton  Vol  I,  p.  47). 

Faced  concrete  was  of  four  kinds. 

A.  "  Opus  incertum  ";  second  and  first  centuries  B. 
C.  "  In  forming  "  opus  incertum,  "  the  face  of  the  con- 
crete wall  was  studded  with  irregular-shaped  pieces  of 
tufa,  3  or  4  inches  across,  each  having  its  outer  face 
worked  smooth,  and  the  inner  part  roughly  pointed  ". 
"  Remains  of  Ancient  Rome  ".  Middleton.  Vol  I,  p,  51). 


B.  "  Opus  reticulatum  ";— first  century  B.  C.  to 
second  century  A.  D.  —  so  called  from  its  resemblance 
to  the  meshes  of  a  net  (reticulatum).  "  The  "  opus 
incertum  "  was  given  up  about  the  time  of  Sulla  and 
replaced  by  the  "  opus  reticulatum  %  made  of  regular 
prisms  of  tufa  made  in  imitation  of  network.  There 
are  three  kinds  of  "  opus  reticulatum  " :  in  the  oldest 
the  prisms  are  small  and  the  intersecting  lines  of  the 
network  slightly  irregular:  it  marks  the  infancy  of  the 

new  style In  the  second  stage  the  prisms  become 

larger ,  and  the  cross  lines  of  the  network  perfectly 
straight,  while  the  angles  of  the  walls  are  strengthened 

with  irregular  pieces  of  tufa  resembling  large  bricks 

The  last  period,  from  Trajan  to  the  first  Antonines,  marks 
a  decided  improvement  fn  the  solidity ,  and  the  wall 
itself  is  strengthened  by  horizontal  bands  of  the  same 
material  ".  (*  Ruins  and  Excavations  of  Ancient  Ro- 
me ".     Lanciani,  p,  44-45). 

C.  "  Opus  testaceum  "ror  brick  — first  century  B. 
C.  to  end  of  Wertern  Empire.  "  Till  the  first  century 
B.  C,  only  unburnt  bricks  appear  to  have  been  used 
in  Rome,  and  no  example  of  brick,  earlier  than  Julius 
Caesar  is  now  to  be  seen  ....  The  most  important  point 
to  notice  about  the  use  of  burnt  brick  in  Rome  is, 
that  (in  walls)  they  are  only  used  as  a  thin  facing  for 
concrete,  and  in  no  case  is  a  wall  formed  of  solid 
brickwork.  The  shape  of  these  bricks  is  always  trian- 
gular ".  C  Remains  of  Ancient  Rome  \  Middleton  Vol. 
p.  54  and  56). 

D.  *  Opus  mixtum  "  —  third  century  A.  D.  to  end 
of  Western  Empire  \  This  is  a  modern  term  used 
for  a  variety  of  concrete  facing,   which   did  not  come 

112  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

into  use  till  the  close  of  the  third  century  A.  D.,  the 
usual  facing  of  triangular  bricks,  in  this  sort  of  work, 
is  varied  by  bands  at  regular  intervals  of  small  rectang- 
ular blocks  of  tufa  about  10  inches  long,  by  4  deep  , 
and  tailing  3  to  5  inches  into  the  concrete  backing  ". 
(  "  Remains  of  Ancient  Rome  ^  Middleton.  Vol.  I, 
p.   62). 


Pliny  tells  us  that; "  pavements  are  an  invention 
of  the  Greeks,  who  also  practised  the  art  of  painting 
them,  till  they  were  superseded  by  mosaics.  The  first 
pavements,  in  my  opinion,  were  those  now  known  to 
us  as  barbaric  and  subtegulan  (under  cover)  pave- 
ments, a  kind  of  work  that  was  beaten  down  with 
the  hammer:  at  least  if  we  may  judge  from  the  name 
(  "  pavio  "  to  beat  down)  that  has  been  given  to  them. 
Mosaic  pavements  (  "  spicata  testacea  "  ),  probably  so 
called,  because  the  bricks  were  laid  at  angles  to  each 
other,  like  the  grains  in  an  ear  of  wheat,  or  like 
spines  projecting  from  either  side  of  the  back-bone 
of  a  fish,  were  first  introduced  in  the  time  of  Sulla  ". 
(Pliny.  Nat,   Hist.   XXXVi,   60,   64  69.). 

Vitruvius  (Vll,  I),  describes  the  various  kinds  of 
concrete  and  cement  used  to  form  a  bed  for  marble 
pavings  and  mosaics.  The  pavements  of  Roman  houses 
were  specially  remarkable  for  the  frequent  elaboration 
of  their  designs  in  mosaic.  The  earlier  houses,  till  the 
time  of  Augustus,  had  mosaics  of  a  very  simple  char- 
acter, with  merely  geometrical  patterns  formed  of  grey 
and  white  "  tesserae  "  only.     Under    the  Empire  the 


mosaic  gradually  became  more  pictorial  in  character, 
and  great  varieties  of  coloured  marbles,  imported  from 
all  over  the  Roman  Empire,  were  used  to  give  realistic 
effects  to  the  picture-like  designs,  which  the  bad  taste  of 
the  Romans  made  so  popular.  ("  Remains  of  Ancient 
Rome  \  Middleton,  Vol.  1! ,  p.  240).  The  following  is 
a  list  of  the  various  pavements  used  by  the  Romans. 

1.  "  Pavimentum  sectile  "  —  composed  of  marbles 
cut  into  sets  of  regular  form  and  size;  such  as  squares, 
hexagons  etc. 

2.  "  Pavimentum  tesselatum  " —  Made  of  marbles 
cut  in  regular  dies,  without  the  admixture  of  other 

3.  "  Pavimentum  vermiculatum  "  —  A  mosaic  pave- 
ment representing  natural  objects  animate  and  inan- 

4.  "  Pavimentum  scalpturatum  "  —  A  pavement 
on  which  designs  were  produced  by  engraving  or  in- 

5.  "  Pavimentum  testaceum  " — This  was  made  of 
broken  pieces  of  pottery  (testae). 


Ancient  marbles  found  in  Capri. 

Though  the  study  of  ancient  marbles  is  a  subject 
to  which  httle  attention  is  usually  given  by  the  student 
of  Roman  history,  it  seems  to  be  worthy  of  more  con- 
sideration than  it  generally  receives,  when  we  recall 
the  affection,  almost  devotion  which  the  Romans  paid 
to  the  exquisite  marbles  of  every  conceivable  hue,  and 
combination  of  colour,  which  were  brought  from  the 
remotest  parts  of  their  Empire.  Under  the  rule  of  the 
Emperors,  Rome  was  indeed  a  "  marble  city  ":  not 
only  did  the  Palaces  of  the  Emperors,  the  temples  , 
baths  and  other  public  buildings,  glow  resplendent  with 
coloured  marbles,  but  every  private  Villa,  of  any  pre- 
tension, likewise  boasted  its  columns  and  statues  of 
Parian,  or  Pentelic  marble,  while  the  walls  were  ren- 
dered vivid  by  the  slabs  of  rarer  and  more  brilliant 
marbles,  which,  with  the  exception  of  mosaic  and  wall- 
painting,  was  the  only  form  of  decoration  employed 
by  the  Romans.  After  a  successful  campaign,  no  spoil 
was  more  esteemed  than  columns  of  priceless,  marble, 
ruthlessly  torn  from  the  temples  and  theatres  of  the 

116  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Pliny  has  placed  on  record  the  manner  of  trans- 
porting these  enormous  columns  and  blocks  of  mar- 
ble. After  having  been  marked  at  the  quarries  with 
the  year  in  which  they  were  excavated,  and  the  name 
of  the  Consul  or  Emperor,  they  were  shipped  in  vessels 
of  peculiar  form  ,  manned  by  200  to  300  rowers  to 
Porto,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Tiber,  from  whence  they 
were  conveyed  up  the  river  in  flat-bottomed  boats. 

For  the  above  general  remarks,  and  for  the  fol- 
lowing classification  of  the  stones  employed  in  ancient 
Roman  buildings,  1  am  indebted  to  the  Rev.  H.  W. 
Pullen's  admirable,  "  Handbook  of  Ancient  Roman 
marbles  ". 

Correctly  speaking,  marble  is  some  variety  of  car- 
bonate of  lime,  and  the  name  was  originally  applied 
only  to  the  white  or  statuary  marbles,  such  as  Parian, 
Pentelic,  or  Carrara.  For  the  purpose  of  commerce 
however,  the  name  of  marble  is  applied  to  any  hard 
stone,  which  is  capable  of  receiving  a  fine  polish,  and 
in  this  sense  the  stones  employed  in  Roman  buildings, 
may  be  divided   into  fifteen   groups. 

White  or  statury  marbles,  of  which  the  best  known 
is  the  species  quarried  at  mount  Hymettus  near 

Black  or  grey  marbles. 

Coloured  marbles,  comprising  only  yellow  and 

Veined  or  variegated  marbles  of  almost  every  hue. 

Shell  marbles  ,  containing  molluscous  animals 
and  formed  for  the  most  part  at  the  bottom  of  pre- 
historic seas. 


Breccia,  which  is  a  conglomerate  of  angular  stones, 
or  rounded  pebbles,  cemented  together  by  paste  of 
gravel  or   clay. 


Alabasters;  which  according  to  the  Roman  signif- 
icance of  the  narne  are  simply  stalagmites,  formed  by 
the  dropping  of  water,  charged  with  carbonate  of 

Jaspers;  agates,  and  precious  stones. 

Arenaceous;  and  calcareous  stones. 

Serpentine  ;  of  which  "  verde  antico  "  is  the  finest 

Porphyry;  which  may  be  either  red,  black,  grey 
or  green,  it  consists  chiefly  of  feldspar,  coloured  by 
tiny  particles  of  copper  or  iron. 

Granite  ;  a  combination  of  mica,  quartz ,  and 

Basalt  ;  a  species  of  compressed   lava. 

Travertine  ;  ("  Handbook  of  Ancient  Roman  mar- 
bles "  Pullen). 

The  following  complete  list  of  the  ancient  mar- 
bles, found  in  Capri  has  been  kindly  supplied  me  by 
Dr.  I.  Cerio,  who  has  an  interesting  collection  of  spe- 
cimens in  his  Natural  History  Collection.  For  the 
description  of  the  place  of  origin,  and  colouring  of  the 
marbles,  1  have  again  freely  availed  myself  of  Mr. 
Pullen's  Handbook. 

1.  Carrara — (marmor  lunensel).  From  the  Fan- 
tiscritti  quarries  at  Carrara.  Pure  white:  no  crystals: 
texture  soapy  inclining  to  that  of  china. 

2.  Pentelic  —  (marmor   pentelicum).     From   Mount 
Pentelicus  between  Athens  and  Marathon.    Pure  white, 

118  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

with  fine  dust-like  opaque  crystals.    Turns  yellow  after 
long  exposure  to  the  air. 

3.  Palombino  —  (marmor  coraliticum).  From  the 
banks  of  the  Coralio  in  Phrygia.  Ivory  white,  of  very 
fine  grain,  without  crystals.  Sometimes  faintly  spotted 
with  grey. 

4.  BiGio  ANTico  —  (marmor  batthium).  Probably 
from  North  Africa.  Light  and  dark  grey  in  long  pat- 
terns, with  transparent    surface  and   sparkling  crystals. 

5.  GiALLO  ANTICO  —  (marmor  numidicum).  Sup- 
posed to  have  been  brought  from  Numidia.  Large 
quarries  of  this  marble ,  exhibiting  many  beautiful  va- 
rieties, have  been  discovered  on  mountain  flanks  in 
Algeria.  Pale  yellow,  flushed  with  deeper  yellow ,  and 
finely  veined  with  purple. 

6.  Rosso  ANTICO  —  (marmor  teanarium).  From 
the  Promontory  of  Taenarum  in  Laconia,  now  Cape 
Matapan.  Dark  red,  with  parralel  lines  of  dark  hue  : 
broad  yellowish  streaks:  texture  of  raw  beef:  patches 
of  fleecy  white  and  bluish  grey.  "  Rosso  antico  "  is 
more  commonly  employed  for  statues  ,  shallow  vases, 
and  tripods  than  for  columns. 

7.  Nero  antico  —  From  the  promontory  of  Tae- 
narum in  Laconia.  Jet  black  with  faint  streaks  of  pure 

8.  Marmor  africano— is  strictly  a  Breccia.  From 
the  island  of  Chios.  It  is  called  African  because  of  its 
dusky  hue.  Black,  green,  grey,  purple,  and  bronze,  in 
form  of  large  pebbles :  colours  always  strongly  pro- 

9.  CiPOLLiNO — (marmor  carystium),  so  called  from 
the  resemblance  of  its  veining  to  the  vertical  section  of  an 


onion   (cipolla).    From   Carystus   in  the  island  of  Eu- 

10.  FiORE  Di  PERSico — (marmor  molossium).  From 
Epirus.  Lilac,  peach  blossom,  red,  and  white  in  flowery 

11.  Settebasi  —  It  derives  its  name  from  Septimius 
Bassus,  who  had  a  Villa  adorned  with  this  marble  on 
the  Via  Tuscolana.  its  general  hue  is  greyish  violet , 
but  it  is  often  beautifully  flushed  with  blood-red,  or 
golden  yellow. 

12.  Pavonazzetto — (marmor  synnadicum).  From 
quarries  near  Synnada  in  Phrygia.  Very  dark  brown 
ground,  with  hue  of  clotted  blood,  and  slightly  metallic 
texture.  Large  pebbles  of  semi-transparent  cream  white, 
tinged  with  orange,  pink  or  green. 

13.  Breccia  corallina  —  This  marble  is  named 
after  its  cement,  which  is  usually  of  coral  colour,  though 
there  is  often  very  little  of  it,  and  sometimes  none  at 
all.  The  pebbles  are  most  frequently  red,  pink,  white 
or  yellow. 

14.  Breccia  di  serravezza  —  Yellowish  white  in- 
clining to  pink  with  purplish  veins.  Pebbles  small, 
oblong  or  oval,  and  closely  set. 

15.  Porta  Santa  —  so  called  because  the  door 
jambs  of  the  Jubilee  Gate  under  the  portico  of  St. 
Peters,  and  the  other  Basilicas  in  Rome  are  made  of 
it.  From  the  island  of  Jasus  off  the  coast  of  Caria. 
Pink,  lilac  or  flesh  colour,  in  irregular  mottlings,  with 
tortuous  veins  of  white  and  red.  It  has  one  unfailing 
characteristic— a  most  remarkable  resemblance  to  cold 
roast  beef. 

f>  * 

120  THE    BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

16.  Alabastro  antico — (marmor  alabastrum).  Said 
to  have  been  first  brought  from  the  Theban  hermitages 
in  Egypt.  Its  varieties  are  too  numerous  to  describe 

17.  Red  granite  —  (lapis  pyrrhopoecilus).  From 
Syene  (Assouan),  and  hence  called  Syenite.  Crystals 
of  fiery  red,  mixed  with  black,  white  and  green.  All 
the  obelisks  in  Rome  are  of  Syenite. 

18.  White  and  black  granite  —  White  round  oval 
black  spots,  evenly  distributed. 

19.  Red  porphyry  —  Very  dark  reddish  purple, 
crowded  with  small  pinkish  spots. 

20.  Green  porhyry  —  Olive  green  ;  with  many 
little  crystals  of  yellowish  green,  and  larger  ones  of 

21.  Green  Egyptian  basalt  —  Dark  green,  pricked 
with  minute  spots  of  yellowish  green. 

22.  Nero  paragone— (lapis  lydicus).  An  extreemly 
hard  variety  of  Basalt,  said  to  come  from  Lydia  and 
to  be  the  touchstone  of  Metallurgists.  Jet  ebony  black* 
with  faint  streaks  of  mottled  white. 

It  is  a  somewhat  remarkable  fact  that  no  exam- 
ples of  *  verde  antico  ^  the  finest  of  the  specimens 
of  Serpentine,  have  been  found  in  Capri. 

Splendid  collections  of  ancient  marbles  have  for- 
tunately been  placed  at  the  disposal  of  those  who  may 
wish  to  study  the  subject  in  a  more  through  manner: 
*  one  at  Oxford,  which  numbers  one  thousand  tablets: 
one  in  the  Geological  Museum  in  Jermyn  Street,  Lon- 
don: a  third  in  the  University  of  the  Sapienza  in  Rome, 
consisting  of  six  hundred  large,  and  about  one  thou- 
sand smaller  slabs.     The  best  of  all  is  the  set  bequeathed 


by  Baron  Ravenstein  to  the  Museum  of  the  Porte  de 
Hal,  Brussels.  It  contains  seven  hundred  and  sixty 
four  specimens ,  which  were  arranged  and  catalogued 
by  Tommaso  and  Francesco  Belli.  The  variety  and 
richness  of  Roman  marbles  may  be  estimated  from 
the  fact,  that  there  are  forty  three  qualities  of  '^  bigio  ", 
and  one  hundred  and  fifty  one  of  alabaster  \  ("  Ruins 
and  Excavations  of  Ancient  Rome  ".     Lanciani,  p.  43). 


Removal  and  destruction  of  ancient  marbles. 

One  is  constantly  struck  with  wonder,  at  the  com- 
paratively few  objects  of  art  and  interest,  which  have 
rewarded  the  strenous,  though  rather  intermittent  ef- 
forts, of  the  excavating  antiquarian  in  Capri  during  the 
last  century  and  a  half.  On  the  one  hand  we  are  told, 
and  have  every  reason  to  believe  that  nearly  twenty 
Palaces  or  Villas  of  some  importance  were  scattered 
over  the  island.  We  know  that  for  at  least  fifty  years 
Capri  was  resorted  to  by  the  Roman  Emperors.  We 
know  the  lavish  taste  of  that  age  ,  that  numbers  of 
columns  of  costly  material  were  used  for  the  embel- 
lishment of  the  Imperial  FJalaces  and  the  Villas  of  the 
wealthy.  We  know  too  that,  the  terraces  halls  and 
gardens  of  these  Palaces  and  Villas  must  have  been 
adorned  with  countless  statues,  and  innumerable  pave- 
ments of  choice  marbles  brought  at  infinite  cost  from 
every  corner  of  the  then  known  world.  Yet  ,  we  are 
faced  by  the  apparently  extraordinary  fact  that,  after 
years  of  careful  excavations,  conducted  by  skilled  anti- 
quariaus,  the  expense  of  which  was  defrayed  from  the 
lavish  purse  of  the  Bourbons  ,  the  total  result  is 
inadequate,  and  entirely  out  of  proportion  to  the  results 

124  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPR! 

that  might  have  been  confidently  looked  for.  How 
then  can  we  account  for  this  discrepancy  between  ex- 
pectation and  result? 

Weichardt  remarks;  "  It  may  well  be  assumed  that, 
in  the  early  middle  ages  and  later  on,  whole  ship-loads 
of  columns,  statues,  and  mosaic  pavements  were  car- 
ried of  from  the  island  ".  ("  Capri  ".  Weichardt. 
p.  79). 

In  order  to  illustrate  the  uses  to  which  these 
ship-loads  of  marbles,  columns  and  statues  were  put,  I 
cannot  do  better  than  make  a  few  extracts  from  "  The 
Destruction  of  Ancient  Rome  \  by  Professor  Rodolfo 
Lanciani,  than  whom,  no  greater  authority  on  ancient 
Rome  exists.  "  The  earliest  instance  of  the  removal 
of  marbles  from  the  Eternal  City  dates  from  the  time 

of  King  Theodoric  " «   The  portion  of  the  cathedral 

of  Aix-la-Chapelle  erected  by  Charlemagne  in  799-804 
and  consecrated  by  Leo  III,  is  an  octagon  copied  from 
S.  Vitale  at  Ravenna,  designed  and  built  by  Roman 
marmorarii.  The  lofty  openings  of  the  upper  story  are 
decorated  with  a  double  row  of  columns  of  unequal 
length,    of   rare   marbles   and   breccias,   brought  from 

Rome,  Treves,  and  Ravenna  " "  The  cathedral  of 

Pisa,  begun  in  1063,  and  consecrated  in  1118  by  Pope 
Gelasius  II,  is  mostly  built  of  marbles  taken  from  Rome 

and  Ostia  " "  The  inexhaustible  stores  of  Rome 

were  resorted  to  for  the  construction  of  the  cathedrals 
of  Lucca  (1060-1070)  and  of  Monte  Cassino  (1066)  of 
those  of  S.  Matteo  at  Salerno,  (1084)  and  of  S.  Andrea 
at  Amalfi  (eleventh  century) ;  of  the  baptistry  of  S.  Gio- 
vanni in  Florence  (begun  in  1100):  of  the  monastery 
of  Nostra  Signora  di   Tergu ,   on  the  north   coast  of 


Sardinia ,  between  Sorso  and  Castel  Sardo  ,  of  the 
church  of  S.  Francesco  at  Civita  Vecchia,  of  the  cathed- 
ral of  Orvieto  (1321-1360),  and   even  of  some  parts  of 

Westminster  Abbey  " **  We  are  indebted  to  Luigi 

Fumi  for  detailed  information  concerning  the  use  of 
materials  from  Rome  in  the  building  of  the  cathedral 
of  Orvieto.  The  first  barge-loads  were  shipped  from 
the  Tiber,  from  the  quay  of  the  Ripetta,  in  June  1316. 
For  the  space  of  nearly  forty  years  the  "  maestri  del 
r  Opera  del  duomo  ",  or  superintendants  of  construc- 
tion sent  their  agents  through  the  country  around  Rome 

in  search  of  blocks  of  marble  for  their  carvings  " , 

**  In  process  of  time  the  villa  of  Domitian  at  Castel 
Gandolfo,  the  mausoleum  of  Hadrian,  the  portico  of 
Octavia,  the  temple  of  Isis  and  Serapis,  and  the  ruins 
of  Veii  were  in  like  manner  put  to  ransom.  The  doc- 
uments collected  by  Fumi  give  us  some  details  of 
this  remarkable  trade  in  old  marbles ".  (Lanciani,  pp. 

In  addition  to  this  process  of  obliteration,  we  are 
certain  even  from  what  we  have  seen  in  our  own 
times  that  hundreds  of  tons  of  precious  marbles,  the 
smallest  fragment  of  which  is  now  eagerly  sought  by 
private  collectors  and  the  purchasers  for  public  Mu- 
seums, were  in  times  past  reduced  into  their  original 
elements  in  the  lime-kiln,  and  serve  today  to  bind  to- 
gether the  wretched  and  sordid  hovels  of  the  poor, 
and  the  rapidly  crumbling  walls,  which  separate  vine- 
yard from  orange-grove. 

As  illustrating  and  proving  conclusively  the  whole- 
sale and  barbaric  destruction  of  rare  and  precious  marbles 
wrought  by  lime-burners,  not  only  during   the  Middle 

126  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Ages,  but  even  into  our  own  times,  I  will  again  ven- 
ture to  avail  myself  of  the  vast  leaning  and  wide  ex- 
perience of  Prof.  Lanciani,  quoting  still  from  "  The  De- 
struction of  Ancient  Rome  ";  "  From  a  document  of 
July  1,  1426,  preserved  in  the  Vatican  archives,  we 
learn  that  the  papal  authorities  while  giving  a  free 
hand  to  a  company  of  limeburners  to  destroy  the  Ba- 
silica Julia,  for  the  sake  of  the  blocks  of  travertine  of 
which  the  pillars  of  the  nave  and  aisles  were  built, 
reserved  to  themselves  half  the  produce  of  the  kilns: 
a  present  was  afterwards  made  of  the  income  from 
this  source  to  Cardinal  Giacomo  Isolani,  who  was  then 
engaged  in  repairing  his  titular  church  of  S.  Eu- 
stachio.  A  fate  similar  to  that  of  the  Basilica  Julia,  fell 
to  the  lot  of  the  tomb  of  Alexander  Severus  at  the  Monte 
del  Grano:  thus  perished  half  of  the  Coliseum,  the 
arch  of  Lentulus,  the  Circus  Maximus,  the  square  base- 
ment of  Caecilia  Metella,and  a  hundred  other  monuments, 
the  spoils  of  which  served  to  build  St  Peter's,  St  Mark's, 
the  Palazzo  di  Corneto,  the  Palazzo  Farnese,  the  Can- 

cellaria,  the  Villa  Giulia  " "  Pirro  Ligorio,  the 

architect,  discussing  the  best  way  of  obtaining  a  particu- 
larly fine  plaster,  suggests  the  use  of  powdered  Parian 
marble,  obtained  from  the  statues  which  are  constantly 

destroyed  " "  Other  famous  kilns  were  those  of 

S.  Adriano,  for  the  burning  of  the  marbles  of  the  im- 
perial Forum:  of  the  "  Agosta  ",  fed  with  the  spoils 
of  the  mausoleum  of  Augustus:  and  of  "  La  Pigna  ^ 
supplied  with  materials  from  the  Baths  of  Agrippa  and 
the  temple  of  Isis.  There  were  temporary  establish- 
ments opened  near  this  or  that  edifice,  which  were 
abandoned  as  soon  as  the  supply  was  exhausted  " 


"  I  have  myself,  had  no  small  experience  in  tracing  the 
results  of  the  operations  of  the  lime-burners:  in  fact 
none  of  the  important  excavations  with  which  1  have 
been  connected  either  in  Rome  or  on  neighbouring 
sites,  have  failed  to  bring  to  light  remains  of  one  or 
more  lime-kilns.  I  mention  two  examples  as  specially 
worthy  of  note.  A  lime-kiln  was  found  in  the  palace 
of  Tiberius  on  the  Palatine  hill  by  Rosa  in  1869.  it 
was  filled  to  the  brim  with  fine  works  of  art,  some 
calcined,  some  intact;  among  the  latter,  were  the 
veiled  bust  of  Claudius,  now  in  the  Museo  delle  Ther- 
me,  a  head  of  Nero:  three  carrying  caryatides  in  "  nero 
antico  ":  an  exquisite  little  statuette  of  an  ephebus  in  black 

basalt  " Mn  February  1883,  in  the  excavations  on 

the  south  side  of  the  Atrium  of  Vesta  a  pile  of  mar- 
ble was  found  about  14  feet  long.  9  feet  wide,  and  7 
feet  high.  It  was  wholly  made  up  of  statues  of  the 
"  Vestales  maximae  ",  some  unbroken,  others  in  frag- 
ments   **  There  were  eight  nearly  perfect  statues, 

and  we  were  agreably  surprised  to  find  among  the 
broken  ones,  the  lower  part  of  the  lovely  seated  Vesta 
with  the  footstool,  which  alas  lis  now  hardly  recogni- 
sable owing  to  the  number  of  years  it  has  been  left 
exposed  in  the  dampest  corner  of  the  Atrium.  "  (Lan- 
ciani,  p.  191-196). 

As  I  am  unable  to  find  any  evidence  as  to  where, 
or  when,  this  altar  was  discovered,  I  have  decided  to 
insert  in  this  place  the  two  reproductions  of  photo- 
graphs taken  for  me  by  Mr.  A.  H.  Smith  ,  Assistant 
Keeper  of  Greek  and  Roman  Antiquities  in  the  British 

128  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

The  following  is  the  description  of  the  altar  or 
plinth  from  the  official  Catalogue  of  the  British 

2487.  Altar  (or  perhaps  base  of  candelabrum). 
On  a  square  plinth  is  an  altar  or  pedastal,  the  four 
sides  of  which  are  slightly  concave.  The  four  corners 
are  supported  by  four  female  Sphinxes.  Their  heads 
are  encircled  with  chaplest  of  beads.  From  each  of 
these  a  string  of  bead  and  reel  ornament  funs  up  the 
angle.  Front  side  (A):  In  the  panel  in  front  is  a  low 
relief  representing  Apollo  standing  by  the  side  of  a 
tripod.  He  stands  to  the  right,  with  right  hand  on  his 
hip,  and  with  left  hand  resting  on  the  lyre  which 
stands  on  a  table.  He  is  nude ,  except  for  a  small 
chlamys  and  shoes,  and  has  long  hair,  tied  up  behind 
the  head.  On  the  table  are  two  rolls  of  manuscript , 
and  from  a  crossbar  between  its  legs  hang  two  sashes. 
The  tripod  is  placed  on  a  higher  level  beyond  the  table. 
Two  sashes  hang  from  the  crossbar  of  the  tripod.  The 
raven  of  Apollo  pecks  at  one  of  the  sashes. 

On  the  left  side  (B)  is  a  sacrificial  group.  On  the 
left  is  a  bearded  priest,  wreathed,  and  draped,  in  his 
right  hand  is  a  sacrificial  ewer;  in  his  left  a  lustral 
branch.  In  front  of  him  is  an  attendant,  who  is  drag- 
ging forward  a  sheep  by  the  horns  with  his  right 
hand,  while  with  his  left  he  holds  a  fillet.  On  the 
right  side  (C)  of  the  pedestal  has  been  a  group  of 
which  all  that  remains  are  the  naked  feet  ot  a  male 
figure  standing  on  an  elevated  platform  on  the  left,  the 
legs  of  a  goat  or  of  Aegipan,  and  the  feet  of  a  san- 
dalled figure  on  the  right.  At  the  back  of  the  pedestal 
(D)  is  Diana  Lucifera  feeding  a  deer.     She  extends  her 

Altar,  (or  base  of  candelabrum),  Hamilton  Collection.  (British   Museum). 

(       •        O     06      t 

C    c  • 

C    c    t       € 

c  C  C         t  It 

C  C    t  C  I  t 

•  C  t  t    c 
•  •  C                (.         C       c 

•         •  C  c      C    ^    I 

•  t  c  c  c    c         c 



V    i 

•  •  •    •  •  • 

Altar,  (or  base  of  candelabrum),  Hamilton  Collection.  (British  Museum). 

C  .     ft  •    « 


right  hand  holding  a  branch  towards  the  deer,  her  left 
hand  holds  a  torch  ;  in  front  of  her  is  a  laurel-tree. 
Between  the  goddess  and  the  deer  a  dish  for  charcoal 
is  placed  on  the  ground.  This  is  so  nearly  worn  away 
as  to  be  hardly  discernible.  The  whole  is  surmounted 
by  a  cornice,  on  the  four  corners  of  which  are  couc- 
hant  fermale  Sphinxes.  A  string  of  oval  beads  is  cast 
round  their  bodies.  —  Capri.  Presented  by  Sir  William 
Hamilton,  1772. 

Marble.  Height,  2  feet  3  ^/o  inches;  width,  1  foot  9  inches. 
Restored:  small  parts  of  the  Apollo  relief;  in  the  group 
on  the  left  side,  the  greater  part  of  the  goat,  the 
right  forearm  and  hand  of  the  priest ;  in  the  group 
at  the  back,  the  greater  parti  of  the  tree  and  upper 
part  of  the  deer.  Also  part  of  the  lower  Sphinxes, 
and  all  but  one  of  the  upper  Sphinxes.  Ellis,  Town. 
Gall.  II.,  p.  280. 


Site  of  old  city  —  Contrada  Torre. 

The  ancient  Greek  city  of  Caprea  was  spread  out 
over  the  middle  of  the  wide  fertile  valley ,  which  con- 
nects the  two  rocky  halves  of  the  island,  and  occupied 
the  district,  now  known  as  Contrada  Torre  (Dry  dis- 
trict), being  bounded  by  the  Palazzo  a  Mare,  the  Church 
of  San  Costanzo,  and  the  Greek  steps  to  Anacapri. 

No  actual  buildings  exist,  but  ancient  terraces  and 
cisterns  are  scattered  over  the  whole  of  this  part  of  the 
island,  and  almost  all  the  houses  are  constructed  on 
ancient  foundations.  Numerous  antiquities  such  as 
coins,  mosaic  pavements,  amphorae,  tiles,  glass  vessels, 
and  fragments  of  terra  cotta  have  been  found ,  while 
digging  foundations  or  working  the  vineyards,  in  more 
profusion  in  this  section  of  the  island  than  in  any  other 
part.  A  further  reason,  (if  such  were  needed,)  why  this 
is  almost  certainly  the  site  of  the  old  Greek  town,  is 
that,  then  as  now,  a  harbour  existed  at  the  Grande 
Marina  ;  and  further,  the  only  good  spring  of  water  is 
within  the  limits  of  the  ancient  city. 

During  the  eighteenth  century  a  marble  tablet  was 
discovered  in  this  valley,  and  subsequently  acquired  by 

132  THE   BOOK   OF  CAPRI 

Sig.  Alexii  Aurellii  Pelliccia,  the  following  inscription  was 
chisselled  in  finely  out  Greek  letters. 

AHMOC  .  .  .  MOriC  EFEIPH 

This  inscription  contained  an  edict  forbidding  tu- 
mults ;  and  a  series  of  rules  were  laid  down  for  the 
regulation  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  Town  and  surround- 
ing country.    (Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  185) 

Dr.  James  Roane  of  Washington  U.  S.  has  kindly 
supplied  me  with  the  following  note,  describing  the  sar- 
cophagus  now  to  be  seen  outside  the  Hotel  Grotte 
Bleue:  the  measurements  were  all  taken  by  him  with 
great  care  and  accuracy. 

"  The  ancient  sarcophagus  now  on  the  terrace  of 
the  Hotel  Grotte  Bleue,  was  found  in  the  year  1810  in 
a  garden,  about  one  hundred  paces  to  the  north  of  the 
Church  of  San  Costanzo.  It  contained  the  skeleton  of 
a  young  woman,  and  some  remains  of  garments  richly 
embroidered  in  silver  and  gold,  two  bracelets,  two  ear- 
rings, and  a  finger-ring  with  a  cameo  setting.  The 
skeleton  had  in  its  mouth  a  gold  coin  of  the  head  of 
Vespasian,  having  on  one  side  the  words ; 

Imperator  Caesar  Vespasianus  -  Aug;  Tr.  P. 
and  on  the  reverse  side; 
Fort  -  red.  Cos. 


This  coin  was  sold  to  a  foreigner  for  ten  ducats,  (about 
£.  2).  The  most  remarkable  object  found  was  a  scep- 
tre-like rod,  about  fifty  centimetres  long,  encircled  with 
three  gold  bands ,  which  led  to  the  belief  that  the  re- 
mains belonged  to  a  member  of  the  Imperial  family. 
Some  authors  think  they  may  have  been  those  of  Cris- 
pina,  wife  of  the  Emperor  Commodus ,  or  of  Lucilla 
his  sister,  (whowas  murdered  by  the  Emperor  in  Capri 
A.  D.  183):  both  of  these  royal  ladies  having,  ac- 
cording to  Dion  Cassius,  been  banished  to  the  island 
of  Capri.  What  became  of  the  skeleton,  the  jewels, 
and  the  sceptre-like  rod,  is  not  known. 

The  sarcophagus  is  2,04  metres  long,  85  centime- 
tres high,  and  there  is  no  difference  in  the  dimensions 
at  the  top  and  at  the  bottom,  in  the  centre  is  a  circular 
cutting  30,5  cm.  in  diameter,  surrounded  by  a  raised 
bevelled  rim,  the  diameter  of  the  entire  ornament  being 
41  cm.  This  cutting  may  once  have  contained  a  me- 
dallion or  an  inscription,  but  there  are  no  evidences 
now  of  either,  the  chiselled  surface  being  quite  the  same 
as  the  rest  of  the  sarcophagus.  Just  above  this  circular 
cutting  are  the  ends  of  two  festoons. ,  which  droop 
gracefully,  and  are  caught  up  again  at  either  corner. 
Above  and  below  the  ends  of  these  two  festoons  ,  in 
the  centre  and  at  each  corner,  are  exquisitely  sculp- 
tured flying  ribbons.  The  festoons  are  very  heavy  in 
their  centre,  and  taper  at  their  extremities.  Above  the 
centre  of  each  of  these  is  a  winged  head  (Medusa?)  18 
cm.  in  diameter,  in  relief.  On  each  of  the  four  corners 
are  bull's  heads,  33  cm.  long,  by  22  cm.  wide.  On 
each  narrow  side  of  the  sarcophagus,  there  is  a  single 
drooping  festoon   similar  to  those    above   described . 

134  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

with  flying  ribbons,  above  and  below  each  tapering  end. 
Above  the  centre  of  the  festoon  is  a  rosette  17  cm.  in 
diameter.  The  top  of  the  sarcophagus  is  very  heavy, 
gable-shaped,  with  sphere  ornaments  rising  12  cm.  high 
at  each  of  the  four  corners,  and  is  ornamented  on 
its  anterior  half  with  scales,  fashioned  after  the  manner 
of  the  "  testudo  "  formation.  They  are  beautifully  cut, 
each  having  a  central  ridge ,  and  are  in  four  rows , 
sixteen  in  a  series,  the  lower  row  having  fourteen  on 
account  of  the  corner  ornaments. 

There  is  in  the  centre  of  each  gable  on  the  narrow 
sides  a  rosette  smaller  than  those  on  the  narrow  sides 
of  the  sarcophagus.  The  posterior  side  of  the  sarcop- 
hagus ,  and  the  posterior  half  of  the  lid  are  rough  cut, 
and  without  ornament.  There  are  rough  chiselled  cut- 
tings for  metal  clamps  22  cm.  from  each  corner  on  the 
superior  part  of  the  anterior  and  posterior  sides  of -the 
sarcophagus,  with  corresponding  cuttings  on  the  lid. 
The  sarcophagus  bears  no  inscription.  It  is  hewn  out 
of  a  single  block  of  white  marble  and  is  massive.  It 
is  in  an  excellent  state  of  preservation,  but  the  lid  has 
a  large  piece  broken  of  the  corner ,  which  however 
still  remains  "  in  situ  ". 

Greek  stairway  to  Anacapri. 

Until  about  twenty  five  years  ago  the  only  poss- 
ible means  of  communication  between  Capri  and  Ana- 
capri was  the  old  Greek  stairway,  which  may  still  be 
seen  scaling  the  precipitous  mountain  side.  It  is  prob- 
able that  in  Roman  times  Anacapri  had  its  own  land- 
ing place  at  Gradelle,  but  at  all  events  in  more  recent 
times,  and  until  the  present  road  was  completed,  every 
block  of  stone,  and  all  the  other  materials  for  building, 
as  well  as  all  provisions,  had  to  be  transported  on  the 
patient  heads  of  the  pedestrian  islanders. 

During  the  construction  of  the  highway,  which 
was  planned  and  executed  by  Sign  Emilio  Meyer,  and 
completed  in  1877,  through  the  blasting  of  the  rock, 
and  falling  of  fragments  of  the  cliff,  the  old  stairway 
was  almost  entirely  destroyed.  Not  more  than  159  of 
the  original  steps  remain  in  perfect  preservation:  they 
show  a  breadth  of  from  5  to  6  feet. 

Hadrava  says  that,  in  his  time,  the  stairway  con- 
sisted of  552  steps,  and  that  after  ascending  about  300 
steps,  the  visitor  reached  a  Chapel  with  a  terrace  in 
front,  the  view  from  which  dominated  all  the  surround- 
ing  country.    (Had.    Let.  XXXI).     Mangoni  remarks ; 

136  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

'^  The  stairway  of  Anacapri,  which  is  wonderfully  cut 
out  of  the  face  of  the  living  rock,  to  a  height  of  more 
than  1000  feet,  deserves  observation.  It  is  formed  ir- 
regularly, and  has  a  serpentine  or  zig-zag  form it 

is  composed  of  533  steps  and  the  variety  of  the  steep 
and  rugged  rocks,  which  dominate  and  overhang  the 
steps,  render  it  a  unique  curiosity  ".  (Mangoni  Ric. 
Top.  p.  39). 

Captain  Richard  Church,  (afterwards  General  Sir 
Richard  Church),  who  was  a  Captain  in  the  Corsican 
Rangers  for  two  years,  from  October  1806  to  Septem- 
ber 1808,  in  command  at  Anacapri,  writing  to  his  sister 
says ;  "  The  only  road  from  Capri  here  (Anacapri)  is  up 

a  rock  cut  into  600  perpendicular  steps Fancy  me 

leading  a  high-spirited  Arabian  horse  up  these  steps ! 
which  I  have  done,  and  he  is  the  only  horse  in  the 
island  ".  (  "  Sir  Richard  Church  in  Italy  and  Greece  \ 
E.  M.  Church). 

At  Capodimonte,  at  the  head  of  the  steps  may  be 
seen  the  remains  of  a  fort  erected  by  the  French,  which 
was  still  further  strengthened  by  stockades  raised  by 
Captain  Church  during  the  English  occupation  of  the 

Cyclopean  wall. 

Dr.  I.  Cerio  gives  us  the  following  information. 
"  Before  entering  the  Piazza,  the  archeologist  will  visit 
with  interest  the  remains  of  a  wall  which  extends  from 
the  base  of  Mount  Michele  to  that  of  Castiglione,  along 
the  northern  slope  of  the  island,  and  which  serves  as 
foundations  to  many  of  the  dwellings  on  this  slope. 
Well  preserved  traces  can  be  seen  under  the  houses  in 
the  place  called  "  i  Pizzi  ",  and  on  the  Castello  Road, 
but  to  observe  them  carefully  it  is  necessary  to  betake 
oneself  to  the  level  ground  below.  The  wall  is  made 
in  part  of  large  masses  of  rock  worked  with  the  chisel, 
and  showing  many  angles ;  but  a  great  part  of  the 
stones,  which  constitute  it  have  rectangular  faces,  placed 
in  rectangular  strata,  seldom  of  the  same  height,  and 
placed  together  without  cement.  This  mamner  of  con- 
struction is  perhaps  Phoenician.  One  sees  may  exam- 
ples of  this  sort  of  work  especially  in  Phocis,  Boetia, 
and  Argolis  \    (Note  to  "  Feola  \  Chap.  V). 

f        t  c  c  c 

Villa  Jovis. 

If  anywhere  in  Capri,  the  magnificence  and  reality  of 
the  occupation  and  dominion  of  the  Caesars,  (whether 
Augustus  or  Tiberius ,  matters  little) ,  can  be  best  ap- 
preciated, and  moulded  into  concrete  form,  it  is  at  the 
so-called  Villa  Jovis  at  Tiberio ,  the  extreme  eastern 
point  of  the  island,  and  that  which  is  nearest  to  the 
mainland.  The  position  itself  is  stupendous,  and  isola- 
ted in  the  highest  degree,  and  seems  to  be  formed 
by  nature  as  the  final  retreat  of  a  disappointed  potentate. 
The  cliffs  drop  straight  into  the  sea ,  one  thousand 
feet  below,  with  menacing  precipitousness,  and  the  only 
approach,  by  means  of  a  narrow  causeway,  could  have 
been  easily  rendered  unapproachable  to  over  insistent 
friend  or  prying  enemy. 

In  the  other  Palaces  and  Villas,  to  which  we  have 
referred,  too  heavy  a  strain  may  be  put  on  the  powers 
of  imagination ,  which  (luckily  for  the  harmony  of 
humanity)  are  very  unequally  developed  in  different 
individuals.  We  are  shown  a  broken  wall,  a  few  pieces 
of  "  netted  '  brick  work ,  or  perhaps  the  shattered 
remnant  of  arch  or  cistern,  and  are  required  to  recon- 
struct for  ourselves  an  Imperial  Palace  glittering  with 
gold,  rich  with  marble  statues  of  colossal  size,  parterres 

140  THE   BOOK   OF  CAPRI 

brilliant  with  glowing  flowers,  and  peopled  by  the  Ruler 
of  the  earth,  and  his  gorgeous  attendant  retinue.  This 
to  many  is  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  and  the  tourist, 
unable  to  mount  to  the  required  heights  of  fancy,  feels 
himself  humiliataed  and  out  of  touch  with  his  surroun- 
dings ,  and  doubtless  hurries  back  to  his  Hotel  table 
d'hote,  where  he  lustily  execrates  the  phantasmal  imagin- 
ings of  Gregorovius  and  others.  At  Villa  Jovis  on  the 
other  hand,  the  most  prosaic  Briton  can  realise  without 
too  painful  effort,  that  here  indeed  stood  a  mighty  Imperial 
Palace.  Here  he  sees  for  himself  huge  chambers,  with 
arched  roofs  still  intact,  portions  of  tesselated  pavements, 
fragments  of  marble  columns ,  and  traces  of  frescoe 
on  the  walls.  To  still  further  kindle  the  lagging  imag- 
ination the  visitor  is  advised  to  glance  at  the  repro- 
duction here  given  of  an  interesting  drawing,  made  by 
the  architect  Sig.  F.  Alvino  in  1853,  which  shows  the 
remains  of  the  Palace,  as  they  then  were. 

Weichardt  observes;  "  the  similarity  of  the  appor- 
tionment of  the  apartments  of  the  Palace  of  Augustus 
on  the  Palatine,  and  of  this  Imperial  Palace  is  astonishing, 
excepting  only   that   the   apartments   on    the    Palatine 

occupy  an  area  four  times  as  large This  fact 

must  naturally  lead  us  to  the  assumption,  that  our  last 
and  highest  situated  palace  on  Capri  was  built  by  Au- 
gustus, but  possibly  somewhat  altered  by  Tiberius,  that 
is  to  say  so  far  as  to  suit  his  special  purposes  \  ("  Capri  * 
Weichardt,  p.  99  and  103). 

The  only  one  of  the  Palaces  of  Tiberius  to  which 
Suetonius  gives  a  name  is  Villa  Jovis;  "  Speculabundus 
ex  altissima  rupe  identidem  signa,  quae  ne  nuntii  mora- 
rentur,  tolli  procul  ut  quidque  foret  factum  mandaverat. 












t  •  c  <  t 
(  c  e  t  f 

t  c  <  < 
f  c  f  c 

'  f 

•  •CO 

t  c  c  c 


Verum  et  oppressa  conjuratione  Sejani,  nihilo  securior, 
aut  constantior  ,  per  novem  proximas  menses  non 
egressus  est  Villa  quae  vocatur  Jovis  \  (Suet,  Tib,  Chap, 
LXV).  This  passage  may  be  translated  as  follows 
"  Meanwhile  he  was  upon  the  watch  from  the  summit 
of  a  lofty  cliff,  for  the  signals  which  he  had  ordered 
to  be  made  if  auything  occurred  ,  lest  the  messengers 
should  be  tardy.  Even  when  he  had  quite  foiled  the 
conspiracy  of  Sejanus,  he  was  still  haunted  with  fears 
and  apprehensions,  insomuch  that  he  never  once  stirred 
out  of  the  Villa  Jovis  for  nine  months  ". 

All  the  writers  on  Capri  prior  to  Mackowen,  have 
concluded  that ,  we  are  in  the  presence  of  the  Villa 
Jovis,  thus  described  by  Suetonius,  and  though  1  admit 
that,  logical  or  definite  proof  on  the  point  is  wanting 
I  am  inclined  to  agree  with  them.  Mackowen  observes 
that  there  were  other  palaces  "  placed  on  lofty  cliffs  " 
besides  the  one  at  Tiberio,  and  mentions  San  Michele 
and  Monte  Solaro;  and  he  contends  that  the  fire-signals, 
that  would  be  made  in  case  of  danger  or  conspiracy 
at  Rome,  would  be  made  from  Gaeta,  which  is  on  the 
Appian  way,  and  nearer  Rome  than  the  Capo  Minerva, 
(the  point  on  the  mainland  nearest  to  Tiberio),  "  and 
that  from  either  San  Michele  or  Monte  Solaro  ,  such 
signals  could  be  more  easily  seen,  especially  from  the 
latter  ".  This  is  perfectly  true,  as  far  as  it  goes,  but  as 
we  have  endeavoured  to  prove  (Chap.  XIII.  San  Michele) 
no  Imperial  Palace,  but  a  Temple,  stood  on  that  hill; 
at  Monte  Solaro  there  are  no  traces  of  a  gigantic  and 
magnificent  Palace,  such  as  exist  at  Tiberio. 

Again,  it  seems  improbable  that  Tiberius  would  have 
elected  to  immure  himself  for  nine  months  in  so  exposed 

142  THE    BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

and  bleak  a  situation  as  Monte  Solaro,  which  in  winter 
is  swept  by  every  wind  that  blows,  and  is  often  immersed 
in  fog  clouds  for  days  together.  Apart  from  the  existence 
at  this  day  of  such  considerable  remains  at  Tiberio, 
which  clearly  demonstrate  the  existence  of  an  Imperial 
Palace,  is  the  fact  that,  no  more  beautiful  spot  could 
have  been  selected  by  the  Emperor  in  the  whole  island 
for  his  self-imposed  confinement.  A  Palace  placed  here 
commands  the  entire  island,  is  easily  accessfble  to  the 
landing  place  at  Punta  Tragara,  and,  as  stated  above, 
could  be  made  inviolable  to  friend  or  foe. 

"  The  palace  of  a  Roman  emperor  had  not ,  like 
a  modern  princely  castle ,  in  addition  to  a  few  state 
apartments,  some  five  hundred  rooms  expressed  exter- 
nally by  innumerable  windows  only ,  instead  thereof,  a 
few  vast  halls  and  appartments  sufficed,  together  with 
a  limited  number  of  smaller  chambers,  for  the  needs 
of  the  ruler  of  the  world.  But  these  few  areas  were 
fitted  out  with  the  choicest  of  splendour:  the  most  dis- 
tant races  were  compelled  to  furnish  the  costliest  kinds 
of  marble  and  wood  for  the  requirements  of  the  Em- 
peror, and  the  greatest  masters  required  to  hold  their 
arts  at  his  disposal.  ...  in  view  of  the  superabundance 
of  statuary,  together  with  the  costly  meterials,  the  incrus- 
tations of  the  interior  with  gold,  bronze,  and  marbles, 
the  costliness  of  the  paintings  which  distinguished  this 
architectural  age,  the  palaces  on  Caprae  must  have  stood 
at  the  height  of  the  times  and  have  been  monuments 
of  imperial  splendour  \  C*  Capri  \  Weichardt  p.  122). 

After  passing  the  ruins  of  the  light-house ,  (See 
Chap.  VIII  "  Faro  "),  we  come  to  the  alledged  Salto: 
from  this  point  looking  North,  the  ruins  of  the  Imperial 


Villa  lie  before  us.  The  present  ascending  path  nearly 
follows  the  ancient  principal  stairway.  Looking  down 
to  our  left,  we  see  a  small,  fairly  well  preserved  apartment, 
(lying  nine  feet  below  the  present  path):  this  apartment 
Weichardt  regards  as  the  vestibule  to  the  sole  official 
entrance  of  the  Palace :  here  may  be  seen  some  frag- 
ments of  pavement  of  black  and  white  "  tesserae  " , 
and  the  drums  of  some  columns  of  **  cipollino  ^  In 
the  rear  of  this  apartment,  the  visitor  will  observe  a 
niche,  which  may  be  regarded  as  the  resting  place  of 
the  Praetorian  on  guard,  or  perhaps  a  marble  statue, 
or  altar  rested  here.  On  our  right  may  be  seen  the 
remains  of  three  bath-rooms  with  leaden  pipes,  which 
served  to  conduct  the  water  from  huge  reservoirs  in 
the  overlying  masonry.  Beneath  us  may  be  observed 
vast  cisterns ,  and  indeed  we  may  conclude  that  this 
portion  of  the  Palace  was  devoted  to  store-rooms,  baths, 
cisterns,  and  the  slave  quarters :  these  cells  are  lighted 
by  a  small  slit  in  the  wall:  the  walls  of  some  of  these 
apartments  are  still  in  a  tolerable  state  of  preservation, 
and  show  traces  of  red  painting,  and  remains  of  mosaic 

From  the  hall  on  the  ground-floor ,  which  is  ac- 
cessible to  all  the  household  ,  a  single  flight  of  steps 
led  up  to  the  private  appartments  of  Tiberius,  which 
occupied  the  first  floor  of  the  Palace.  The  entrance 
to  the  Emperor'  s  apartments  was  probably  through  a 
corridor,  about  three  metres  in  breadth,  by  which  the 
peristyle  and  throne-room  were  reached.  "  The  peri- 
style, which  was  never  wanting  in  any  Roman  residence 
of  the  better  sort,  and  still  less  in  an  Imperial  Palace, 
was  invariably  the  central  point  of  the  dwelling.    Sur- 

144  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

rounded  by  colonnades,  it  obtained  its  light  through  a 
large  opening  in  the  roof,  through  which  both  sun  and 
rain  had  free  admission  \  ("  Capri  ^  Weichardt , 
p.  112-113).  Proceeding  due  south,  we  reach  the 
substructure  of  a  long  apartment,  terminating  in  an 
apse ,  which  Weichardt  considers  to  have  been  the 
triclinium,  or  dining-room.  Other  antiquariaus,  however, 
hold  that  the  form  of  this  large  chamber  suggests  a 
theatre ,  which  would  be  looked  for  in  a  Palace  of 
such  magnificence  and  importance.  Running  round  the 
triclinium  or  theatre,  and  facing  due  east  was  a  semi- 
circular colonnade ;  now  occupied  by  the  little  Chapel 
of  S.  Maria  del  Soccorso,  and  the  walled  "  bella  vista  \ 
in  the  centre  of  which  is  a  gilded  figure  of  the  Madonna. 

Further  on  to  the  south  is  to  be  seen  a  level 
space,  which  Weichardt,  probably  correctly,  identifies 
as  a  private  garden.  "  A  particularly  stout  wall  with 
a  semicircular  projection  still  stands  on  the  southern 
side  of  the  palace ,  marking  of  the  boundary  of  the 
area.  As  no  foundations  are  found  at  this  place,  but 
on  the  other  hand,  a  quantity  of  mould,  it  is  probable 
that  a  small,  palace  garden  existed  here  ".  ("  Capri  ". 
Weichardt,  p.  106). 

As  we  retrace  our  steps ,  leaving  behind  us  the 
peristyle  and  throne-room  ,  and  descending  the  steps 
that  lead  from  the  little  Chapel,  we  enter  on  our  right 
a  corridor,  still  paved  with  the  original  black  and  white 
mosaics.  "  The  sloping  almost  steep  condition  of  the 
corridor  has  led  many  to  conclude  that  a  path  led 
from  here  to  the  sea ,  or  else  through  the  rocks  to  a 
grotto  situated  beneath  the  palace,  but  the  walls  —  as 
Alvino  still  saw  them  ,  altough   they    have   since   then 


fallen  down  at  their  termination  —  prove  that  the 
corridor  only  led  to  the  apartments  of  the  palace 
lying  on  the  western  slope  of  the  hill ,  which  were 
probably  reserved  for  the  Imperial  suite.  Traces  of 
what  is  to  all  appearance  the  same  corridor  or  passage, 
can  be  seen  lower  down  the  hill,  where  doubtless  was 
the  principal  garden  of  the  Villa  \  ("  Capri  \  Weichardt, 
p.  111). 

Such  are  some  of  the  chief  features  of  these 
imposing  ruins ,  but  those  interested  in  such  matters 
can  easily  spend  hours  in  wandering  about  the  various 
chambers,  which  are  scattered  over  the  hill  far  down 
its  westerly  slope. 

The  first  excavations  at  Villa  Jovis  were  undertaken 
in  the  year  1777,  during  the  reign  of  Carlo  111,  by  Dr 
Luigi  Giraldi  of  Ferrara.  A  pavement  was  discovered 
of  rare  and  precious  African  marbles,  "  giallo  antico  % 
"  rosso  ",  and  "  saravazza  ".  This  pavement  was  most 
artistically  designed  and  made ;  (See,  Chap.  XXX  San 
Costanzo) :  it  is  now  to  be  seen  in  the  presbytery  of 
the  Church  of  San  Costanzo.  (Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  88). 
A  statue  of  white  marble  in  the  Greek  style  was  also 
found  in  the  course  of  these  excavations.  This  statue, 
which  represented  a  nymph,  came  into  the  possession 
of  Sig.  d'  Andrea ,  the  Regent  of  Capri  at  that  time. 
(Romanelli,  p.  84).  Other  columns  of  "  giallo  antico  " 
were  also  brought  to  light,  which  now  adorn  the  altars 
of  the  Church  of  Salvatore  belonging  to  the  monks  of 
Santa  Teresa.  C  Storia  dell'  Isola  di  Capri  ".  Canale , 
p.  292  and  Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  89). 

The  second  excavation  of  the  Villa  Jovis  was 
undertaken  in  1806  by  Hadrava,  who  says;     "  Of  the 


146  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

twelve  Villas  alluded  to,  the  most  celebrated  and  con- 
spicuous was  that  of  Jove,  situated  on  the  eastern  prom- 
ontory ,  where  was  a  palace  erected  by  Augustus , 
and  afterwards  enlarged  by  Tiberius.  To  gain  an  idea 
of  the  magnificence  of  this  Villa ,  one  must  observe 
the  great  mass  of  masonry,  not  only  what  is  today  in 
ruins,  but  what  is  buried  out  of  sight.  Here  one  sees 
the  floors  of  various  chambers ,  as  well  as  numerous 
cisterns.  Everyone  marks  with  surprise  a  long  dark 
Grotto,  hewn  out  of  the  living  rock.  There  still  exist 
prisons ,  where  the  unhappy  Drusus  was  confined  ". 
(Had.  Letter.  XIll).  Hadrava  prepared  for  publication 
an  account  of  his  excavations  with  many  illustrations, 
but  his  death  took  place  before  its  publication  ,  and 
the  MSS..  were  lost. 

in  1827  the  Royal  Architect  Antonio  Bonucci  was 
sent  to  Capri  to  examine  the  site  of  the  Villa  Jovis, 
and  consider  whether  it  would  be  possibile  to  clear  away 
the  masonry,  which  encumbered  the  various  chambers, 
and  excavate  the  parts,  which  were  covered  with  earth. 
Having  associated  himself  with  Sig.  Atticiati  of  Naples, 
Sig.  Bonucci  expressed  the  opinion  that  excavations  could 
be  undertaken  with  valuable  results,  provided  he  had  the 
right  to  acquire  the  left  side  which  belonged  to  Francesco 
Salvio  ,  he  was  conceded  the  permission  to  excavate 
on  the  right  side,  which  was  part  of  the  Charity  lands 
of  the  Comune  of  Capri.  The  King  having  given  his 
sanction  to  this  arrangement  ,  by  a  ministerial  order 
of  Oct.  1st  1827,  directed  Sig.  Giuseppe  Feola  to  un- 
dertake the  work  of  excavation.  (Feola ,  p.  28).  Sig. 
Feola  discovered  two  marble  "  puteals  "  or  well-heads, 
decorated    with  bas-reliefs ,   one  representing  growing 

c  c  c  t 

C  f  f 
t      c 

t  r  c  « 
t  c  c  c 

VILLA   JO'VIS  147 

vegetation  ,  and  the  other  the  autumn  season.  Both 
these  "  puteals  "  were  sent  to  the  Naples  Museum  , 
where  they  can  be  seen  today.  (Feola ,  p.  30).  In 
Feola'  s  presence  another  discovery  of  considerable 
interest  and  value  was  made :  this  being  a  marble  bas- 
relief  measuring  in  length  about  twenty  inches.  This 
bas-relief,  which  is  now  in  the  Naples  Museum,  repre- 
sents a  nude  male  figure  (said  by  Feola  to  be  Augustus), 
with  wreathed  head  ,  and  bearing  in  his  right  hand  a 
wand.  He  is  mounted  on  a  spirited  horse ,  which  is 
pawing  the  ground  :  the  horse  is  being  restrained  by 
a  groom  with  a  flowing  robe.  In  front  of  the  male 
figure  is  seated  a  female  figure,  in  her  right  hand  she 
holds  a  torch,  and  with  the  left  holds  up  her  drapery. 
To  the  right  of  the  group  is  the  nude  figure  of  a  boy, 
holding  a  basket,  and  mounted  on  a  wreathed  pedestal. 
To  the  left  of  the  pedestal  is  seen  a  tree,  possibly  an 
oak ,  as  Feola  says  ;  "  there  is  also  an  ancient  oak  , 
which  with  its  hanging  fruit  and  leaves,  forms  a  com- 
plete pavilion  \  (Feola,  p.  30). 

Secondo  in  his  "  Relazione  storica  dell'antichit^, 
ruine  e  residui  di  Capri  \  relates  that  a  column  of 
lapislazuli,  five  feet  in  height  and  ten  inches  in  diameter, 
and  elaborately  sculptured,  was  discovered  at  the  Villa 
Jovis  and  was  sold  to  an  Englishman  for  40  scudi. 

The  precious  stones,  consisting  of  sapphires,  beryls 
and  garnets  which  now  adorn  the  mitre  of  the  figure 
of  San  Costanzo ,  were  also  found  at  Villa  Jovis. 
(Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  89). 

The  Faro. 

This  important  lighthouse  was  probably  erected  by 
Augustus  or  Tiberius,  not  only  to  light  the  neighbour- 
ing Villa  Jovis,  but  also  as  a  beacon  for  the  grain  and 
treasure  ships  returning  from  Alexandria,  and  making 
for  Pozzuoli,  and  those  on  their  course  to  Baia.  From 
the  size  and  importance  of  the  ruins  we  may  suppose 
that,  "  in  its  magnificence  and  height  it  must  have  com- 
•*  pared  with  the  celebrated  Pharos  at  Alexandria,  erect- 
"  ed  by  King  Ptolemy ,  and  executed  by  the  architect 
"  Sostrates  Gridio,  not  to  mention  that  of  Puzzuoli 
"  and  Ravenna,  described  by  Pliny  the  Naturalist  \ 
(Feola.  Chap.  XI  p.  26). 

Dean  Merivale,  gives  a  vivid  and  spirited  picture 
of  the  vast  importance  of  the  trade  in  corn,  which  all 
passed  through  the  "  bocca  ^  or  channel,  which  se- 
parates Capri  from  the  mainland,  and  of  the  consequent 
importance  of  the  Faro  at  Villa  Jovis.  "  First  in  the 
rank  of  commerce  was  the  traffic  in  corn,  which  was 
conducted  by  large  fleets  of  galleys,  sailing  from  certain 
havens  once  a  year  at  stated  periods,  and  pouring  their 
stores  into  her  granaries  in  their  appointed  order  ^ 
Gaul  and  Spain,  Sardinia,  and  Sicily,  Africa  and  Egypt, 
were  all  wheat-producing  countries,  and  contributed  of 
their  produce  partly  as  a  tax,  partly  also  as  an  article 

50  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

of  commerce,  to  the  sustentation  of  Rome  and  Italy. 
The  convoy  from  Alexandria  was  looked  for  with  the 
greatest  anxiety ,  both  as  the  heaviest  laden  ,  and  as, 
from  the  length  of  the  voyage,  the  most  liable  to  de- 
tention. The  vessels  which  bore  the  corn  of  Egypt 
were  required  to  hoist  their  topsails  on  sighting  the 
promontory  of  Surrentum  ,  both  to  distinguish  them 
from  others  and  to  expedite  their  arrival.  These  vessels 
moreover,  according  to  the  institution  of  Augustus  were 
of  more  than  ordinary  size,  and  they  were  attended  by 
an  escort  of  war  galleys.  The  importance  attached  to 
this  convoy  was  marked  by  the  phrases  "  auspicious  " 
and  "  sacred  "  applied  to  it. 

Statins  has  a  picturesque  allusion  to  the  mariner 
hailing  the  isle  of  Capreae  and  pouring  his  libation 
before  the  statue  or  temple  of  Minerva  on  the  opposite 
height : 

....  Modo  nam  trans  aequora  terris 
Prima  Dicarchaeis  Pharium  gravis  intulit  annum : 
Prima  saluvit  Capreas,  et  margine  dextro 
Sparsit  Tyrrhenae  Mareotica  vina  Minervae. 

As  it  neared  the  Italian  coast,  its  swiftest  sailors  were 
detached  and  gave  notice  of  its  approach.  Hence  it 
glided  rapidly  by  night  and  day  under  the  guidance  of 
the  Surrentine  Minerva  on  the  right ,  and  on  the  left 
the  lighthouse  of  Capreae. 

"  Teleboumque  domos,  trepidis  ubi  dulcia  nautis 
Lumina  noctivagae  toilit  Pharus  aemula  Lunae.  " 
[Stat,  Silv,  3,  5,  100] 

A  deputation  of  Senators  from  Rome  was  directed 
to  await  its  arrival  at  the  port  where  it  was  about  to 
cast  anchor ,  which  from   the   absense  of  a  haven  at 

THE   FARO  151 

Ostia,  was  generally  at  this  period  Puteoli.  As  soon 
as  the  well-known  topsails  were  seen  above  the  horizon, 
a  general  holiday  was  proclaimed,  and  the  population 
of  the  country,  far  and  near,  streamed  with  joyful  ac- 
clamations to  the  pier,  and  gazed  upon  the  rich  flotilla 
expanding  gaily  before  them.  Seneca  gives  a  lively 
account  of  this  circumstance  "  Cum  intravere  Capreas 
et  promontorium  ex  quo  alta  procelloso  speculatur 
vertice  Pallas ,  caeterae  velo  jubentur  esse  contentae  , 
supparum  Alexandrinarum  insigne  indicium  est.  "  (His- 
tory of  the  Romans.  "  Merivale,  Vol.  IV.  p.  313). 

Suetonius  tells  us  that  a  few  days  before  the  death 
of  Tiberius  the  lighthouse  was  destroyed  by  an  earth- 
quake.    (Suet,  Tib,  74). 

Statius  informs  us  that  it  still  existed  in  the  time 
of  the  Emperor  Domitian  :  we  must  therefore  either 
discard  the  story  fold  by  Suetonius ,  or  presume  that 
it  was  rebuilt. 

Signor  Secondo  says  that,  about  the  year  1750, 
he  discovered  in  this  district  a  leaden  pipe ,  on  which 
was  cut  the  name  of  the  Emperor  Marcus  Aurelius, 
son-in-law  of  Antoninus  Pius.  (Feola,  Chap.  XI). 

We  learn  from  the  historian  Dion  Cassius  that  in 
the  year  A.  D.  185,  Crispina  and  Lucilla,  the  wife  and 
sister  of  the  Emperor  Commodus  were  banished  to 
Capri,  and  put  to  death  by  his  orders.  fRom.  Hist. 
LXXII.  4). 

in  1804  Hadrava  made  excavations  at  the  Faro, 
but  died  before  his  report  was  published.  We  learn 
however  from  the  notes  of  Romanelli  to  Rezzonico  (p. 
83)  that  he  discovered  a  splendid  bas-relief  of  Crispina 
and  Lucilla  in  an  attitude  of  supplication  and  with  dis- 
hevelled hair. 

152  THE    BOOK    OF    CAPRI 

The  edifice  is  square,  each  side  measuring  42  feet, 
and  is  soh'dly  constructed  of  brick.  The  height  is  50 
feet.  -The  whole  of  what  remains  appears  to  be  the 
first  floor ,  the  upper  story  having  been  destroyed  by 
lapse  of  time,  or  by  the  shock  of  an  earthquake.  On 
the  south  side  a  huge  piece  of  masonry,  almost  entire, 
is  to  be  observed,  which  probably  formed  part  of  the 
arch  of  a  winding  stair-way ,  which  led  to  the  top. 
(Feola,  Chap.  XI). 

On  the  west  side  Hadrava  found  another  mass  of 
masonry  with  squared  holes,  probably  for  the  reception 
of  beams.  He  also  discovered  a  subterranean  flight  of 
squared  stone  steps,  which  led  fo  a  floor  covered  with 
ashes,  which  were  examined  by  Signor  Poli,  who  de- 
clared them  to  be  of  a  volcanic  character.  (Feola,  Chap. 
XI,  and  Mangoni,  Ric  Top,  p,  101).  Dr  Cerio,  in  his 
note  to  Feola,  says  "  This  bed  of  ashes  1  have  examined 
many  times  :  it  is  about  one  metre  in  depth  ,  and  is 
derived  from  an  accumulation  of  the  remains  of  burnt 
coniferous  wood  :  this  one  can  infer  from  the  small 
fragments  of  carbon,  which  are  mixed  with  the  soil. 
There  is  no  doubt,  that  during  the  night  huge  fires  of 
resinous  wood  were  kept  lighted  on  the  top  of  this 
Tower  \ 

Hadrava  likewise  discovered  a  tear-bottle  of  glass, 
somewhat  burnt,  a  sculptured  Faun,  and  a  Doric  cap- 
ital ;  in  another  place  near  the  Faro  ,  was  found  the 
site  of  a  sepulchre,  with  a  broken  tablet,  representing 
three  figures ,  on  which  was  carved  the  following  in- 


C  C   C( 

*  t 

t  C   €   I 

C  C   C    t  • 
<    t    t  C    C 

t  c  t  c  c 

c  c  as 
c  «  ec 

Palazzo  a  Mare. 

A  little  to  the  west  of  the  Grande  Marina  is  to  be 
observed  a  flat  plateau,  on  the  Eastern  side  of  which 
is  the  charming  Villa  of  Mons.  Q,  Dubufe,  which  has 
been  cunningly  built  on  to  an  old  French  fort.  The 
Villa  formerly  belonged  to  Mr.  Haan,  (the  Hungarian 
painter,  who  died  in  1888),  in  whose  time  numerous 
pieces  of  Egyptian  granite  inscribed  with  hieroglyphics 
were  dug  up  in  the  garden  below.  This  has  led  fo  the 
fairly  reasonable  assumption  that  at  some  time  this 
spot  may  have  been  the  site  of  a  Temple  of  Isis- 
(Capri.  Mackowen,  p.  152). 

From  the  above-described  plateau  to  the  present 
so-called  Bagni  di  Tiberio ,  on  the  margin  of  the  sea , 
are  continous  traces  of  Roman  remains  on  a  vast  and 
massive  scale.  Here  we  may  suppose  stood  a  grand 
summer  Palace  of  immense  dimensions,  and  occupying 
what  cannot  but  be  regarded  as  one  of  the  most  mag- 
nificent positions  on  the  island.  Cooled  by  the  never 
failing  north-west  breezes ,  with  its  outer  walls  laved 
by  the  bright  transparent  wavelets ,  warmed  to  an 
agreeable  and  tempting  heat ,  by  the  constancy  of  the 
Sun  God,  neither  Roman  Potentate  or  modern  million- 

154  THE    BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

aire  could  find  a  spot  better  fitted  for  languorous 
dallying ,  or  softly  revivifying  repose.  The  vast  extent 
of  the  walls,  the  numerous  important  columns,  and  the 
infinite  variety  and  richness  of  the  rare  marbles  found 
here  in  such  lavish  abundance  ,  still  further  lead  one 
unavoidably  to  the  conclusion,  that  in  the  Roman  times 
this  summer  Palace  must  have  been  one  of  the  chief 
glories  of  Capri,  and  a  true  triumph  of  taste  and  pro- 
digality, as  well  as  an  example  of  the  marvellous  power 
of  unlimited  wealth,  and  unstinted  labour. 

Weichardt  is  of  opinion  that  Augustus  was  the 
author  of  this  noble  Palace;  "  He  alone,  the  kind  and 
gracious  friend  of  the  inhabitants  of  the  island  ,  could 
have  built  his  Palace  so  near  to  the  city  —  most  cer- 
tainly not  Tiberius ,  the  despiser  of  humanity  and  mis- 
antrophist ,  who  lived  a  lonely  life  on  well-guarded 
mountain  tops,  with  very  few  confidants.  But,  in  view 
of  the  extent  of  these  palatial  grounds,  the  choice  can 
only  be  between  these  two  builder-emperors  ".  ('  Capri  " 
Weichardt;  p.  39).  Again  we  will  quote  from  Weichardt, 
"  On  ascending  the  hill  by  the  sea  we  soon  reach 
a  level  plateau  ,  situaded  about  25  metres  above 
the  sea-level ,  which  (according  to  Schoener)  is  now 
used  as  an  exercise-ground  and  measures  90  metres  in 
length  by  60  in  breadth,  in  these  measurements  we 
find  the  dimensions  of  the  principal  building,  which  as 
is  shown  by  the  remains  of  substantial  supporting-walls, 
contained  terraces  and  steps  leading  right  down  to  the 
sea,  the  latter  then  being,  as  we  already  know,  6  metres 
lower  than  at  the  present  day.  We  first  come  to  un- 
derstand this,  after  wandering  through  the  area  behind, 
and  taking  notes  of  the  extensive  substructures  and  arches 

PALAZZO    A   MARE  155 

Standing  imperishably  and  prominently  out  of  the 
garden  grounds.  Towards  both  the  east  and  west 
too ,  were  wings  connected  with  the  main  building 
which  ,  extending  along  the  hillside  right  down  to  the 
then  sea-shore,  still  raise  their  unadorned,  adamantine 
walls  above  the  waves  \  ("  Capri  "  Weichardt,  p.  40). 
In  his  excavations  which  began  in  1790,  and 
extended  over  several  years,  Hadrava  brought  to  light 
various  treasures  of  which  those  mentioned  below  are  the 
most  important. 

An  altar  to  Cybele  was  found;  being  used  to  or- 
nament the  pergola  of  a  house  near  by!  "  The  altar 
is  cylindrical  in  form  ,  about ,  two  feet  and  a  half  in 
height,  it  is  ornamented  with  garlands  of  corn,  various 
fruit  and  the  head  of  a  goat,  the  whole  being  in  half- 
reliel  "  (Had.  Let.  XIX.  Feola.  Chap.  I).  This  altar 
passed  into  the  possession  of  Sir  William  Hamilton  , 
whose  collection  was  bought  by  the  British  Museum 
in  1772,  and  formed  the  nucleus  of  a  department  of 
antiquities.  It  included  730  vases,  627  gems  and  ivories, 
and  6000  coins.  Almost  all  previous  writers  have  asserted 
that  this  altar  of  Cybele  is  in  the  British  Museum,  this 
however  appears  to  be  an  oft-repeated  error.  I  have 
myself  written  several  letters  to  the  British  Museum  , 
and  am  informed  by  Mr  A.  H.  Smith,  the  Assistant 
Keeper  of  Greek  and  Roman  Antiquities,  that  the  only 
statues  or  bas-reliefs  from  Capri  in  the  Museum  are. 
(1)  A  head  of  Tiberius,  with  a  veil  drawn  down  over 
the  head  ,  as  by  a  person  about  to  offer  sacrifice.  It 
was  bought  by  the  Museum  in  1873  from  the  great 
art-dealer  Castellani.  (2)  Well-head  (puteal)  with  figures 
of  Heracles,  Omphale,  and  Satyrs.     Townley  Collection, 

156  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

purchased  in  1772  from  the  Colombrano  Palace  in 
Naples.  (3)  Altar ,  or  perhaps  base  of  candelabrum  , 
on  square  plinth-presented  by  Sir  William  Hamilton. 
(For  detailed  description  and  reproduction,  see  page  128) 

A  large  and  splendid  pavement  of  exquisite  marbles 
and  of  great  symmetry :  it  was  composed  of  "  giallo 
antico  ",  "  serravezza  ",  and  African  marbles.  (Had. 
Let.  XXX). 

Two  columns  of  Egyptian  "  cipollino  ',  one  whole, 
the  other  broken  in  half :  the  latter  cut  into  four  sec- 
tions ,  is  now  to  be  seen  in  the  Museum  of  Naples , 
supporting  four  porphyry  vases.  (Had.  Let.  XXI). 

Two  columns  of  porta-santa ,  measuring  13  feet 
in  length,  and  20  inches  in  diameter.  (Had.  Let.  XXVlll). 

A  circular  Temple  approached  by  a  stair-way  of 
ten  steps  of  marble ,  which  measured  6  V2  ^eet  in 
length,  and  32  inches  in  breadth.  (Had.  Let.  XXX). 

Another  pavement  composed  of  "  porta-santa  ", 
"  bigio  antico  ",  and  "  giallo  antico  ^  arranged  in  geo- 
metrical figures.  (Had.  Let.  XXXIX). 

A  large  quantity  of  "  serravezza  ^  cut  into  trian- 
gles ,  and  probably  intended  for  the  construction  of  a 
new  pavement.  (Had.  Let.  XXX). 

A  vaulted  acqueduct  twenty  feet  in  height. 

In  his  various  excavations  at  Palazzo  a  Mare  and 
the  vicinity,  Hadrava  actually  took  out  and  removed 
sixteen  hundred  weight  of  precious  marbles. 

Feola  tells  us,  (Chap,  i)  that  in  his  time  there  were 
"  two  moss-grown  columns  of  the  celebrated  marble 
called  "  porta  santa  ",  height  11  V^  ^^^t*  diameter  20 
inches,  which  had  been  broken  in  half  by  a  fall  \ 
These  columns  were  still  "  in  situ  "  about  twenty  five 

Palazzo  a  mare  157 

years  ago,  when  they  were  sold  to  a  marble  dealer  in 
Naples,  and  removed  from  Capri.  (See  note  by  Dr  Cerio 
to  Feola  Chap.  I).  Feola  further  mentions  numerous 
"  cellars  connected  one  with  the  other ,  and  in  good 
preservation.  Five,  each  of  which  measured  47  feet  in 
length  and  12  feet  in  breadth,  communicating  with  each 
other  by  five  low  arched  tunnels ,  by  which  the  water 
passed  from  one  to  the  other ,  were  discovered  under 
the  vineyard  of  Signor  Morcaldi  ".  (Feola  Chap.  1). 
Feola  (Chap.  II)  also  mentions  four  similar  connecting 
cellars,  "  on  the  east  an  extension  of  the  ruins  of 
other  cellars ,  arranged  in  such  manner  as  to  lead  to 
the  opinion,  that  they  must  have  served  for  the  found- 
ations of  a  royal  and  imperial  road  of  communication, 
from  the  above  mentioned  Villa  to  another  magnificent 
Villa  situated  in  the  higher  region  of  Fontana  ".  In 
the  same  chapter  Feola  says;  "  I  found  four  other 
enormous  cellars  of  great  strength  measuring  166  feet 
in  length ,  and  32  feet  in  breadth.  At  the  botton  was 
found  an  immense  quantity  of  the  finest  chalk  ,  which 
is  supposed  to  have  been  used  for  the  purpose  of 
filtration.  This  deposit  when  dried  presented  a  metallic 
blue  colour ,  from  which  Signor  Secondo  argues  that, 
these  cisterns  may  have  been  used  to  produce  those 
delicate  vases,  like  the  celebrated  ones  introduced  from 
Pompeii  after  the  Mithridatic  war,  and  called  "  Murrini  "; 
these  vases  are  mentioned  by  Pliny  the  elder  ".  (Feola 
Chap.  II). 

"  Murrhime  vessels  come  from  the  East ,  in  nu- 
merous localities  of  which,  remarkable  for  nothing  else, 
they  are,  to  be  found.  It  is  in  the  empire  of  the 
Parthians  especially  that   they   are   met   with ,    though 

158  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

those  of  the  very  finest  quah'ty  come  to  us  from  Car- 
mania.  It  is  generally  thought  that  these  vessels  are 
formed  of  a  moist  substance ,  which  under  ground 
becomes  solidified  by  heat,  in  size  they  never  exceed 
a  small  waiter  (abacus),  and  as  to  thickness  they  rarely 
admit  of  being  used  as  drinking-cups,  so  large  as  those 
already  mentioned.  The  brightness  of  them  is  destitute 
of  strength  ,  and  it  may  be  said  that  they  are  rather 
shining  than  brilliant.  But  their  chief  merit  is  the  great 
variety  of  their  colours  and  the  wreathed  veins,  which 
every  here  and  there ,  present  shades  of  purple  and 
white,  with  a  mixture  of  the  two  :  the  purple  gradually 
changing  as  it  were  to  a  fiery  red,  and  the  milk-white 
assuming  a  ruddy  hue.  Some  persons  praise  the  edges 
of  these  vessels  more  particularly  with  a  kind  of  re- 
flection in  the  colours,  like  those  beheld  in  the  rain-bow, 
others  again,  are  more  pleased  with  them  when  quite 
opaque,  it  being  considered  a  demerit,  when  they  are 
at  all  transparent,  or  of  a  pallid  hue.  The  appearance 
too  of  crystals  in  them  is  highly  prized,  and  of  spots 
that  look  like  water  warts:  not  prominent,  but  depressed 
as  we  mostly  see  upon  the  human  body.  The  perfume 
too  of  which  they  smell,  is  looked  upon  as  an  additional 
recommendation  \  (Pliny  Nat.  Hist.  Book  XXXVll , 
Chap.  8). 

Dean  Merivale  in  his  "  History  of  the  Romans  " 
says;  "  1  believe  it  is  now  understood,  that  the  murrha 
of  the  Romans  was  not  porcelain,  as  has  been  supposed 
from  the  line  "  Murrheaque  in  Parthis  pocula  cocta 
focis  ".  (Propert.  IV,  5,  26)  but  an  imitation  in  coloured 
glass  of  a  transparent  stone.  (Book  IV,  Chap.  39). 

PALAZZO   A   MARE  159 

Weichardt  says;  '  In  addition  to  the  Grand  Palace 
by  the  Sea,  it  would  appear  that  imperial  villa-residen- 
ces existed  in  other  spots,  and  in  touch  with  the  ancient 
city ,  and  that  these  were  probably  occupied  either  by 
members  of  the  imperial  family  or  by  favorites. 
But  is  equally  possible  that  the  same  belonged  to 
rich  citizens.  On .  two  sites  many  chambers  with 
mosaic  pavements,  Roman  handiwork,  cisterns,  tanks, 
and  terrace-walls  which  must  have  belonged  to  extensive 
palaces,  or  villa-grounds,  have  been  disinterred.  Again, 
in  addition  to  five  headless  marble  statues,  the  colossal 
imperial  statue ,  now  in  Rome  ,  for  the  missing  head 
of  which  (as  mentioned  by  Hadrava)  that  of  Tiberius 
was  substituted  ,  was  found  here  ".  ("  Capri  "  Wei- 
chardt, p.  41). 

Palace  at  Punta  Tragara. 

Hadrava  is  of  the  opinion ,  that  at  Punta  Tragara 
stood  an  Imperial  Place,  and  says  that  in  his  time  a 
large  acqueduct,  and  many  Roman  remains  had  been 
found  there.     (Had.  Chap.  XVI). 

Mangoni  follows  suit,  and  argues  from  the  beauty 
of  the  situation,  the  southern  aspect,  and  the  remains 
of  a  Roman  road  that  led  to  this  spot,  that  an  Augustan, 
or  Tiberian  Villa  must  have  crowned  this  eminence  : 
he  adds  "  all  the  antiquarians  have  been  of  opinion 
that  here  stood  another  vast  Augustan  Tiberian  Villa  \ 
(Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  133). 

Weichardt  endeavours  from  another  stand-point  to 

prove  that  an  Imperial  Villa  existed  at  Punta  Tragara. 

"  We  learn  that   Masgabas,    one   of   the  favorites   of 

Augustus ,  had  died  the  year  preceding  the  Emperor's 

last  visit  to   Capri,  and   that   on   the   adjacent   island 

(which  by  way  of  a  joke ,  had  been   nicknamed    "  the 

Island  of  Sloth  "),  was  the  tomb  holding  the    remains 

of  Masgabas ,  to  whose  memory  ,  during  the   banquet 

given  by  the  Emperor  to  the  indigenous  Greek  youths, 

torch-light  honors  were   being    paid.    Now ,    with    the 

exception,  of  the  inaccessibly  steep  and  rocky  Faraglioni, 

there  is   only    one   single    rocky    island    of  moderate 


162  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

dimensions  (known  to  day  as  "  Monacone  ") ,  which 
is  broad  rather  than  high,  lying,  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  Capri.  This  is  near  the  Faraghoni  and  contains 
not  only  the  remains  of  a  Roman  tomb ,  but  also  of 
an  antique  stair-way,  cut  out  of  and  into  the  rocks  \ 
"  At  the  banquet  Augustus  gazed  down  upon  this  islet, 
as  we  must  assume ,  from  one  of  his  Villas.  But  of 
all  the  places. at  which  (as  is  proved  by  the  finding  of 
antique  remnants)  Roman  sites  could  have  existed , 
there  is  but  one  which  can  possibly  agree  with  the 
above  description  as  that  from  which  the  islet  Monacone 
can  be  overlooked,  and  that  is  the  precipitous  foreland 
now  known  as  Punta  Tragara  on  the  south  side  of 
the  island  \  ("  Capri  "  Weichardt,  pp.  37,  a  38). 

"  In  good  truth,  the  present  Punta  Tragara  furni- 
shed a  wonderful  position  for  an  Imperial  castle  which, 
at  this  spot,  formed  the  final  link  of  this  chain  of  rich 
Villas,  and  it  was  well  worth  the  trouble  of  an  Emperor 
to  direct  that  employment  should  be  given  to  hundreds 
of  busy  hands  in  chiselling  the  steep  rock  to  the  extent 
required  ".  ('  Capri  "  Weichardt,  p.  75). 

A  beautiful  pavement  found  at  Punta  Tragara  can 
now  be  seen  in  the  Church  of  San  Stefano  and  is  thus 
described  by  Dr.  I.  Cerio;  "  There  was  recently  collec- 
ted in  the  Chapel  of  Rosario  in  this  Cathedral  another 
pavement  of  "  saravezza  "  and  yellow  marble ,  with 
fillets  of  "  rosso  antico  ".  This  was  found  a  few  years 
ago  among  the  remains  of  a  sumptous  Villa  of  the 
time  of  Tiberius  at  Punta  Tragara  and  saved  from  de- 
struction by  the  Parish  priest ,  who  superintended  its 
removal  to ,  and  preservation  in  the  Church  \  (Note 
by  Dr.  Cerio  to  Feola  Chap.  V). 

Palace  at  Unghia  Marina. 

This  Villa  or  Palace,  which  is  generally  attributed 
to  Augustus,  is  situated  a  little  to  the  east  of  Certosa, 
on  the  very  edge  of  the  cliff,  the  site  being  now  oc- 
cupied by  the  modern  Villa  Mercedes. 

The  following  is  the  account  given  by  Feola,  who 
discovered  it  in  1826;  "  The  site,  not  far  from  Tragara 
on  the  western  slope  of  the  mountain  Tuore  Grande, 
was  on  the  pleasant  eminence  of  Unghia  Marina.  Here 
were  found  bricks  used  in  the  construction  of  the  Villa 



as  well  as  many  valuable  marbles  some  of  which  were 
ornate ,  "  of  vivid  colour  with  the  figures  of  birds 
painted  on  them.  The  remains  of  a  precious  fragment 
of  a  pavement  of  rare  marbles  of  exquisite  design  was 
also  discovered  in  this  spot ,  and  transferred  to  the 
National  Museum  of  Naples  ".  (Feola,  Chap.  Vlll). 

Feola  was  of  the  opinion,  based  on  the  discovery 
of  the  bricks  stamped  with  the  words  YACINTHI 
JULIAE  AUGUSTAE,  that  this  Villa  was  built  by  Au- 


gustus  for  the  use  of  his  daughter  Juh'a.    This  view  is 
not  however  tenable  for  the  following  reasons:  in  the 
first  place  this  Julia  Augusta  was   certainly    Livia   the 
wife  of  Augustus,  who  was  so  called  after  the  Emperor's 
death.    Again  the  following  quotations  from  two  such 
recognised  authorities  as  Middleton  and   Lanciani    will 
convince  the  reader  that  it  was  not  customary  for  Roman 
builders  to  stamp  their  bricks  with    the    name   of   the 
intended  occupant  of  the  house  they  were  constructing. 
"  The  stamps  which  occur  on  the  bricks  of    buildings 
of  Imperial  Rome  are  of   great   value   in   determining 
the  dates  of  various  structures.......  Various  names  and 

facts  are  recorded  on  these  stamps  e.  g.  the  names  of 
the  Consuls,  though  rarely :  of  much  more  frequent 
occurrence  is  the  name  of  the  owner  of  the  brickfield 
from  which  the  clay  came ,  and  that  of  the  potter 
(figulus)  who  made  the  brick :  after  his  name  comes 
the  phrase  "  Valeat  qui  fecit  " —  may  the  maker  pro- 
sper \  (Remains  of  Ancient  Rome,  Middleton,  Vol.  I, 
p.  13). 

"  Roman  bricks  are  often  stamped  with  a  seal,  the 
legend  of  which  contains  the  name  of  the  owner  and 
manager  of  the  kilns,  of  the  maker  of  the  tile,  of  the 
merchant  intrusted  with  the  sale  of  the  products,  and 
of  the  Consuls  under  whose  term  of  office  the  bricks 
were  made  ".  ("  Destruction  of  Ancient  Rome  ".  Lan- 
ciani, p.  39).  Further  corroboration  of  this  view  is 
supplied  by  Dr.  I.  Cerio'  (Note  to  Feola  Chap.  Vill,)  in 
which  he  remarks  that  in  1880  upon  the  discovery  of 
another  supposed  Palace  or  Villa  at  Punta  Tragara,  a 
large  numer  of  bricks  with  a  similar  inscription  were 

Villa  or  Thermoe  of  Castiglione. 

On  a  rock  plateau,  which  h'es  below  the  final  cone 
of  the  Monte  Castiglione  excavations  were  commenced 
by  Hadrava  in  1786-  Probably  no  site  on  the  island 
has  been  so  throughly  ransacked  as  this  spot,  and  the 
untiring  perseverance  of  Hadrava  met  with  unqualified 
success,  as  will  be  seen,  when  I  proceed  to  enumerate 
in  detail  the  treasures  which  he  unearthed. 

"  Here  once  stood  \  says  Weichardt,  "  a  temple 
or  perhaps  a  treasure  house  ,  this  ,  at  least ,  is  the 
conclusion  one  is  induced  to  arrive  at  after  inspecting 
a  semicircular  antique  wall  continued  right  to  the  edge 
of  the  rocks ,  which  still  retains  in  part  its  net-like 
tile-facing.  The  remains  of  a  second  wall,  introduced 
in  large  concentric  curves,  which  resembles  a  retaining- 
wall  ,  are  also  to  be  found  here.  The  actual  Villa 
however,  joined  on  to  this  last  mentioned  ringed-wall  ". 
C  Capri  "  Weichardt  p.  78). 

I  will  now  proceed  to  enumerate  the  principal 
results  of  the  excavations  of  Hadrava.  At  a  depth  of 
6  or  7  feet  he  found  a  house  consisting  of  five  rooms, 
communicating  with  each  other.  The  walls  were 
beautifully  frescoed  and  the   colours   so   bright ,   that 

166  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

they  might  have  been  laid  on  only  yesterday.  The 
pavement  of  the  first  room  (which  was  vaulted) ,  was 
of  simple  cement.  In  the  second  and  third  room  were 
found  large  quantities  of  coloured  marbles:  the  second 
room  had  a  pavement  of  bricks  (tavolozze)  which  were 
about  13  inches  square,  and  many  of  which  were 
inscribed  with  the  maker's  name.  "  Finally  on  the  day 
before  my  departure  I  was  the  witness  of  a  most 
gratifying  sight.  At  the  depth  of  eight  feet  was  discovered 
a  marble  vase.  It  was  large  and  round,  and  ornamented 
with  figures  in  bas-reh'ef ,  and  weighed  160  pounds. 
The  form  is  very  elegant  and  represents  a  sacrifice  ". 
(Had.  Let.  VIII). 

A  bas-relief  was  found  here  ,  representing  four 
figures  ,  one  having  a  bag-pipe  in  his  mouth  ,  two 
carrying  torches ,  and  the  fourth  having  a  well-bucket 
attached  to  a  long  rope ,  which  he  is  about  to  lower 
into  a  well.  (Romanelli  p.  80).  In  the  third  year  of 
the  excavations  (1789)  Hadrava  discovered  in  the  fourth 
room  a  very  fine  pavement.  Mackowen  says,  "  probably 
the  most  perfect  and  best  preserved  of  all  the  antique 
pavements  \  (Mackowen  p.  169).  It  was  composed 
of  "  giallo  antico  ",  "  torchino  venato  \  and  "  rosso 
antico  ",  and  measured  20  feet  in  length  by  15  in  breadth. 
Hadrava  took  the  pavement  to  Naples  to  be  restored, 
after  which  it  was  on  exhibition  at  his  own  house  for 
a  year.  It  was  then  removed  to  the  Museum  at  Naples 
and  subsequently  sold  to  the  King ,  who  placed  it  in 
the  Favorita  Palace  at  Portici.  (Romanelli  p.  81). 

Hadrava' s  account  of  the  little  Festa ,  which  he 
organised  on  the  occasion  of  the  pavement  being  first 
exhibited  to  the  King,  is  so  quaint  that  I  have  transcribed 


it  in  full;  "  I  informed  the  King  of  my  joyful  discovery. 
The  King  appointed  a  day  to  visit  it,  and  I  immediately 
sent  to  Naples  for  two  marble  workers  to  clean  and 
polish  the  pavement  with  pumice  stone.  When  all  was 
ready  the  King  after  dinner  arrived  with  the  gentlemen 
of  his  suit ,  and  a  great  company.  As  soon  as  he 
arrived  at  the  fourth  room,  four  of  the  workmen  threw 
on  water,  and  the  pavement  appeared  in  all  its  beautiful 
brilliancy,  at  this  moment  the  sun  shot  forth  a  ray  of 
sunshine.  His  Majesty  seeing  it  said  "  It  is  superb.  I 
observe  the  rare  geometrical  composition,  the  rhombi, 
he  rhomboids ,  and  the  square-sided  figures ,  and  also 
the  charm  of  coloured  marbles  red,  yellow,  and  white  ^ 
From  thence  I  conducted  the  King  by  a  little  path  to  a 
loggia  which  I  had  excavated  at  the  same  time,  whence 
he  ascended  by  ten  steps  to  another  pavement  of 
mosaics.  When  His  Majesty  approached,  he  encountered 
an  unexpected  scene,  for  the  work-people  were  seated 
inside  at  two  tables,  on  one  side  the  men,  and  on  the 
other  side  the  women ,  according  to  their  custom , 
having  macaroni  freshly  prepared  before  them.  Upon 
the  arrival  of  the  King  they  all  cried  out,  "  Evviva ! 
Evviva !  "  Then  they  began  to  grate  cheese  over  the 
macaroni,  and  in  a  fev/  moments  they  had  eaten  about 
forty  pounds ,  but  with  such  skill  that  the  King  was 
highly  amused ;  they  seized  as  much  of  the  hot 
macaroni  as  they  could  grasp  with  their  five  fingers , 
raised  it  in  the  air,  and  whirling  it  round  two  or  three 
times  threaded  it  into  their  mouths ,  as  a  housewife 
threads  her  needle.  After  this  they  danced  the  tarantella 
to  the  accompaniment  of  a  tambourine,  and  lute.  A 
peasant ,  Niccolo ,  aged  80  years,    opened   the   dance 

168  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

with  one  of  the  youngest  girls ,  and  this  respectable 
old  man  danced  with  vivacity,  joy  and  skill.  So 
finished  the  Festa  ,  and  the  King  retired  perfectly 
satisfied  "  (Had.  Let.  X). 

Hadrava  not  being  always  able  to  give  his  attention 
to  the  excavations  in  person  ,  requested  the  governor 
to  take  charge  of  the  work  in  his  absense.  "  All  the 
superb  marbles  ,  which  were  found  in  this  fourth 
excavation  were  transported  to  the  Governor'  s  house, 
and  among  them  were  discovered  a  fragment  of  a 
bas-relief,  which  representes  a  Sacrifice  in  which  is  seen 
a  Victory,  a  head  of  Tiberius ,  and  a  Genius  with  a 
platter,  all  executed  in  the  Greek  style.  They  have  all 
become  the  property  of  Prince  Schwartzenburgh  who 
spent  several  months  in  Capri  ,  in  the  character  of 
ambassador  extraordinary  upon  the  occasion  of  the 
coronation  of  the  Emperor  \  (Had.  Let.  XII).  During 
the  fourth  excavation  conducted  by  the  Governor  ,  an 
acqueduct  was  exposed  "  with  various  leaden  pipes 
which  ran  round  the  four  sides ,  and  conducted  the 
water  to  all  the  rooms  ,  which  1  had  excavated  in  the 
previous  year.  Therefore  1  clearly  perceived  that  the 
chamber ,  where  1  found  the  pavement ,  served  for  a 
bath ,  because  from  one  side  entered  the  pipes  for 
"  hot  water  and  on  the  other  for  cold.  In  the  preceding 
room  were  also  observed  small  furnaces.  These 
acqueducts  were  so  large  that  a  man  could  hide  himself 
in  them  \  (Had.  Let.  XIV). 

Hadrava  also  found  the  heads  of  two  children,  one 
laughing  and  the  other  crying  both  in  the  Greek  style. 
These  were  sent  to  Rome  to  the  celebrated  German 
sculptor    Tripple.    A   fine   cameo    with    the    head   of 


Germanicus  was  brought  to  light  at  the  same  time. 
(Had.  Let.  XVII)  and  presented  to  the  Empress  Catherine 
of  Russia.  (Romanelh*,  p.  82).  Hadrava  further  discovered 
numerous  lamps,  tiles,  and  pieces  of  delicately  worked 
stucco,  one  representing  a  very  beautiful  child,  another 
a  Genius,  the  third  a  hippogriffin,  and  another  a  maiden 
tinted  in  colour.  (Had.  Let.  XXVI). 

From  the  extensive  baths  and  immense  acqueduct 
discovered  at  Castiglione  by  Hadrava,  Mangoni  formed 
the  opinion  that  this  Villa  merely  served  as  a  bathing 
establishment,  accessory  to  an  important  Imperial  Villa, 
which  has  not  yet  been  brought  to  light.  (Mang.  Ric. 
Top.  Chap.  XIV).  Stamer  in  "  Dolce  Napoli  "  also 
speaks  of  these  remains  at  Castiglione  as  "  The 
Thermae  \  Some  weight  is  lent  to  this  view  of 
Mangoni,  by  the  following  observation  of  Feola.  '^  We 
rrfey  assume  that  the  apartments  of  this  Villa  extended 
as  far  as  the  neighbouring  district  of  Valentino,  because 
in  1823  the  colono  Natale  Catuogno,  in  digging  on  his 
land  found  some  tablets  of  marble,  which  formed  part 
of  a  pavement  of  antique  marbles  of  different  colours; 
when  I  was  informed  of  this,  I  visited  the  spot,  and 
recognising  the  value  of  the  discovery ,  made  a  report 
to  the  proper  authorities,  and  in  the  year  1825  with 
the  approval  of  the  King,  the  pavement  was  removed 
to  the  Royal  Museum  at  Naples  ".    (Feola.  Chap.  VI). 

Dr.  1.  Cerio  in  his  note  to  this  Chapter  adds  that 
in  this  same  district  at  various  times  large  lead  pipes, 
a  bronze  key,  which  is  now  in  the  National  Museum  at 
Naples,  fragments  of  statues,  bronze  utensils,  and  a 
Greek  inscription   have  been  found.     In  the   district  of 

170  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRr 

Valentino  was  also   found  a  slab  of   marble   with  the 
inscription  ; 


(Mang.  Ric.  Top,  p.  178).    This  tablet  may  now  be  seen 
at  Villa  Cesina. 

From  Dr.  Cerio's  "  Note  to  Feola  "  Chapter  Vi,  we 
learn  that  in  1857,  Cav.  Bonucci  then  Director  of  ex- 
cavations at  Pompeii,  acting  under  the  Government  of 
Naples,  pursued  the  excavations  on  the  farm  of  Arcan- 
gelo  Aucellone,  and  found  many  rooms  with  coloured 
stucco  and  pavements  of  mosaic  or  marbles;  in  one  of 
these,  which  was  painted  yellow,  he  found  the  doorposts 
of  a  door  in  statuary  marble.  The  pavement  consisted 
of  700  sheets  of  "  africano  "  and  "  giallo  antico*" 
marble  with  a  beautiful   framing  of  "  rosso  antico  \ 

Unhappily  no  traces  of  the  extensive  excavations 
of  Hadrava,  so  naively  described  in  his  letters,  remain; 
the  splendid  baths  ,  the  house  with  five  chambers,  the 
acqueducts  have  all  been  covered  with  earth  by  the 
thrifty  peasants  (in  1791);  as  Mangoni  says,  '  to  enable 
them  to  plant  a  few  scanty  vines  ". 

Temple  of  San  Michele. 

The  hill  of  San  Michele  occupies  a  unique  position, 
and  from  its  semicircular  cone-like  form  is  ever  an 
object  of  interest  in  the  landscape.  Dominating,  as  it 
does  the  ancient  City  of  Capreae,  one  would  naturally 
expect  to  find  here  some  signs  of  Roman  remains.  As 
a  matter  of  fact  in  mounting  the  hill  from  the  south 
the  remains  of  an  ancient  road  arrest  the  attention  of 
the  visitor.  Hadrava  is  very  brief,  all  he  has  to  say 
is; "  There  exists  there  various  pedestals  of  columns, 
as  well  as  the  ruins  of  masonry,  and  a  road  shows 
itself,  which  leads  to  the  summit  of  the  hill.  Finally 
we  perceive  various  vaults,  an  aqueduct,  and  reservoirs 
for  water,  which  one  may  suppose  were  placed  there 
for  the  support  of  gardens  ".    (Had.  Let.  XVI). 

Feola,  who  seems  to  be  the  chief  authority  on  the 
remains  on  San  Michele,  (Mangoni  simply  copying  him), 
remarks,  "  Here  the  Roman  Emperor  built  a  magnif- 
icent Palace,  and  a  large  and  commodious  road  by 
which  to  ascend.  The  ruins  of  the  Palace  are  first 
observed  about  half  way  up  the  hill.  They  consist  ot 
a  vast  vaulted  edifice  which  leads  to  the  top  of  the 
hill.    The  measurements  are,  length  80  feet,  breadth  13 

172  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

feet,  and  height  17  feet.  The  solidity  of  the  walls  is 
surprising.  On  the  right  of  the  entrance  the  stranger 
will  admire  numerous  square  connecting  chambers,  each 
measuring  about  14  feet:  the  line  of  these  chambers 
follows  the  curve  of  the  hill.  These  chambers  com- 
municate with  each  other  by  means  of  a  line  of  arches, 
(of  the  height  of  a  man),  and  are  plastered  with  a 
mortar  of  pebbles,  and  with  "  lacerti  "  (arms  or  braces) 

in  all  the  corners,  like  those  in   the  Camerelle 

At  the  entry  are  visible  twenty  one  chambers  in  line, 
all  of  equal  size ,  in  good  preservation  and  facing 
south,  and  many  others  equally  well  preserved  facing 
north.  One  can  still  recognise  on  the  limestone  rock 
the  marks  of  tools,  which  were  used  to  widen  the  road, 
in  the  same  manner  as  can  be  seen  on  the  road  which 
leads  to  Tragara  \    (Feola.  Chap.  X). 

What  was  the  purpose  of  this  road  ?  "  Did  a  col- 
umned pergola  run  round  the  mountain  here  forming 
a  flower-clad  promenade?  Was  it  made  to  serve  as  a 
corso  for  racing  and  processions  to  be  held  on  the  steep 
island,  which  in  a  few  spots  only,  allowed  of  level  lo- 
comotion ?  Or  was  it  a  road,  whereon  the  Greeks 
and  Romans  of  the  Imperial  Court,  and  the  officers  of 
the  Proetorian  guard  caused  their  horses  to  gambol  in 
sight  of  the  Villa-rich  island  ,  and  of  the  vast  Bay  of 
Naples?  Was  it  made  to  serve  as  a  racecourse,  which 
for  want  of  level  ground,  encircled  the  mountain  ,  and 
was  perhaps  used  to  reproduce  the  pleasures  of  the 
Capital  on  the  Imperial  country-seat  ?  "  ("  Capri  ". 
Weichardt.  p.  81). 

"  The  plateau  on  the  top  of  the  hill  appears  to 
be  formed  in  part  of  rock  cut  into  shape,  and  is  built 


on  long  parallel  arches,  supported  by  a  solid  wall.  The 
form  of  this  upper  plateau  is  perfectly  regular,  the 
length  is  about  230  feet,  and  the  breadth  103  feet  " 
(Feola.  Chap.  X).  "  Underneath  this  plateau  and  facing 
north  may  be  seen  a  rude  vaulted  chamber,  which 
measures  in  length  190  feet,  11  feet  in  breadth,  and  7  V2 
feet  in  height.  This  building  has  been  for  many  years 
used  as  a  Chapel  dedicated  to  S.  Michele  ".  (Mang. 
Ric.  Top.  p.  164). 

No  regular  scientific  excavations  have  ever  been 
made  on  San  Michele,  but  Romanelli  says;  "  We  ob- 
served many  rocks  cut  in  a  circular  form,  which  served 
without  doubt  for  the  bases  of  columns.  Here  too 
were  discovered  two  columns  of  "  cipollino  "  (now  in 
the  possession  of  Mr.  C.  C.  Coleman).  1  also  noticed 
remains  of  half  buried  ruins.  Below  are  to  be  obser- 
ved the  traces  of  a  road,  which  leads  to  the  top  of  the 
hill  ".  (Romanelli,  p.  107).  Feola  found  portions  of 
statues,  fragments  of  columns  of  "  giallo  antico  "  and 
"  rosso  antico  \ 

It  seems  clear  that  this  rectangular  space  on  the 
summit  of  San  Michele  must  have  been  the  site  of  a 
Roman  temple,  and  not  of  a  Palace,  for  the  following 
reasons;  (1)  To  anyone  conversant  with  the  plan  and 
form  of  ancient  temples,  it  is  apparent  that  the  foun- 
dations which  still  appear,  suggest  the  familiar  form  of 
such  a  structure.  (2)  The  presence  of  the  broad  road 
circling  round  the  hill,  and  admirably  adapted  to  sacred 
processions.  (3)  The  fact  that  a  temple  must  have 
existed  in  Capri,  and  that  no  other  site  has  been  as- 
signed, or  seems  suitable  for  such  a  purpose.  (4)-  The 
remains  of  the  base  of  a  column  of  white  marble  still 

174  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

exist,  which  show  that  the  original  measurements  of 
the  columns  must  have  been  90  centimetres  in  diameter 
at  the  base,  with  a  total  height  of  8  to  11  metres,  it 
is  highly  improbable  that  this  height  belonged  to  the 
facade  of  an  Imperial  palace,  which  was  always  from 
two  to  three  stories  high.  C*  Capri  ".  (Weichardt,  p. 
83).  (5)  That  in  the  substructure  is  found  a  Christian 
Chapel,  intended  as  an  atonement  and  consecration  of 
this  seat  of  heathen  worship.  (Weichart  p.  84).  These 
points  are  very  lucidly  treated  and  enlarged  upon 
by  the  following  passages  from  Weichardt,  "  At 
about  the  last  third  of  the  altitude  of  the  mountain 
we  still  see  to  this  day  well  preserved  in  its  contours, 
an  antique  highway  12  metres  in  breadth,  which  runs 
round  the  mountain  for  about  one  kilometre.  On  the 
outer  side  this  circular  highway,  where  the  steep  nature 
of  the  ground  rendered  it  necessary,  was  supported  by 
mighty  masonry,  thus  giving  rise  to  cellarage  and  tanks, 
whereas  on  the  east  and  north  sides  the  inner  side  of 
the  ring  was  cut  out  of  hard  rock.  Up  to  the  height 
of  4  metres,  the  slope  of  the  hill  was  converted  into  a 
perpendicular  wall,  (which  still  bears  the  marks  of  the 
chisel),  and  thereby  a  terrace  climbing  round  the  mountain 
in  an  oval  line  was  produced,  which  is  in  respect  of 
beauty  of  position  without  a  rival  ".  ("  Capri  \  Wei- 
chardt. p.  80). 

"  On  the  southern  side  of  the  horizontal  road, 
and  in  front  thereof,  the  vaulted  walls  of  a  not  unim- 
portant building,  are  still  standing:  these  enclose  an 
anteroom  ,  as  well  as  a  hall  25  metres  long  by  4 
metres  in  breadth,  it  is  possible  that  on  this  spot  may 
have  stood  a  large  and  splendid  arch  way  in  harmony 


with  the    grand  terrace,  a    propylaeum    (gateway),  or 
other  structure,  in  connexion  with  the  building  on  the 
summit   of  the    mountain  '.     ("  Capri  \  Weichardt  p. 
81).     "On  the  northern  side,  the   retaining   wall  is  of 
antique  workmanship  and  made  of  a  cement  composed 
of  exceedingly    hard  rubble-stone.    This   is   in  a  com- 
plete state  of  preservation,  whereas  on  the  other  side 
it  has  been  extended,  probably  by  the  English,  who  at 
the  beginning   of   the  19th    century,  built    here  a  fort 
and  in  so  doing  destroyed  such    parts  of  the  ruins  as 
may  have  remained   \    ("  Capri  \   Weichardt  p.  82). 
"  If,  as  is  assumed  on  all  sides,  (to  judge  by  the  found- 
ations),   an  Imperial    palace  also   stood    here ,  it    can 
only  have    been   a    rectangular    building  without   any 
projecting   parts,    and   consequently,  quite   different  to 
that  which    one  finds    everywhere  else    in    connection 
with  the  Capri  palaces — which  show  various  groups    of 
buildings.    This  simple   ground    plan  it  is  which  gives 
rise  to  the  idea  that  we,  possibly  have  to  do  here  with 
another  style  of  edifice,  namely  with  a  temple  ".     ("  Ca- 
pri ".   Weichardt.    Capri  p.  82).     "  It  is  certainly  very 
remarkable    that  until    now  nobody    has   succeeded  in 
proving  the  existence  of  temples  on    Capri  ;  there  can 
be    no    question    that    such     existed    here,    and    that 
they  were  not  built  solely  by  the  Greeks.     Nevertheless, 
none  of  the  ruins  still  remaining  are  suited  to  a  temple; 
the  large  square  on  the  Monte  San  Michele  is  the  only 
foundation  suited  to  serve  as  the  basis  of  a  temple  ". 
("  Capri  "  Weichardt.  p.  82). 


The  "  Camereile  "  (little  chambers)  are  a  succession 
of  vaulted  chambers  which  run  parallel  with  the  road, 
leading  from  the  Hotel  Quisisana  to  the  Punta  Tragara. 
Those  lying  between  the  Hotel  Quisisana  and  Villa 
Camereile  have  recently  been  turned  into  shops ;  but 
the  original  form  and  character  of  the  "  camereile  ", 
can  be  seen  in  the  garden  of  Villa  Camereile,  and 
again  further  on  in  the  garden  of  La  Certosella. 

"  Here  are  to  be  seen  a  long  extent  of  masonry 
in  the  form  of  equal  and  continuous  rooms ,  lying 
beneath  the  ancient  and  magnificent  imperial  road , 
which  extended  from  Villa  Castiglione  to  another  Villa, 
which  seems  to  have  been  placed  at  the  Punta  Tragara  ". 
The  front  part  of  this  track  of  ancient  masonry  is 
formed  of  short  arches  of  equal  size ,  the  chord  of 
each  does  not  exceed  14  feet,  supported  by  solid  walls. 
The  front  half  seems  to  be  in  ruins,  and  the  inside  is 
covered  with  hard  plaster  made  of  pebbles  having  in 
the  corners  **  lacerti  "  (arms  or  braces):  these  are  an 
unfailing  sign  that  the  chambers  not  only  served  to 
form  the  foundation  of  a  large  and  well  buih  road, 
but  being  in   communication   with    each    other ,    these 



chambers  were  well  adapted   to  collect  and   store    rain 
water  \    (Feola.  Chap.  VII). 

The  form  of  these  arches  is  semicircular,  and  this 
has  led  Signor  Secundo  to  infer  that  they  formed  the 
remains  of  an  Amphitheatre. 

Conte  Rezzonico  considers  that  they  formed  the 
foundations  of  an  Imperial  Villa ,  while  Hadrava  and 
Signor  Romanelli  are  of  opinion  that  these  connected 
chambers ,  are  the  site  of  the  famous  "  Sellarie  "  of 
Tiberius,  described  by  Suetonius.  Though  we  entirely 
disagree  with  the  conclusion  arrived  at  by  Hadrava,  it 
may  interest  the  reader  to  peruse  his  remarks.  "  The 
whole  accumulation  of  arcades,  walls,  vaults  and  rooms 
indicate  that  here  was  situated  the  famous  or  infamous 
"  Sellarie  \  where  it  is  said  Tiberius  designed  a  College 
of  Lust,  in  which  the  youth  of  either  sex  exercised 
themselves  with  the  monstrous  figures  of  the  "  Spintria  ", 
to  excite  the  languid  powers  of  the  Emperor.  It  is 
added  that  Tiberius  made  here  various  chambers  in 
which  were  placed  models  of  "  Elephantide  ".  "  Finally 
"  he  constructed  in  the  groves  and  woods  retreats 
"  sacred  to  Venus,  where  in  the  dress  of  nymphs  and 
"  satyrs  they  satisfied  their  impure  desires.  In  proof 
"  of  this,  there  was  found  on  this  spot  the  remains  of 
"  ancient  painting,  and  even  medals,  which  they  called 
"  "  Spintrie  ",  which  have  on  one  side  an  obscene 
"  position  ,  and  on  the  other  a  number.  We  do  not 
"  know  if  this  number  refers  to  the  numbers  of  the 
"  rooms,  or  the  posture.  A  medal  of  the  form  and 
"  size  of  these  "  Spintrie  "  was  found  here,  on  which 
"  one  sees  on  the  front  a  head  with  this  epitaph  "  C. 
"  Mitreius.  Mag.  Juven,  "  and  on  the    reverse   side   a 


"  building  of  an  oval  shape,  which  perhaps  represents 
"  that  of  the  "  women's  rooms  " ,  and  explains  thai 
'^  this  C.  Mitreius  was  the  Director  of  the  infamous 
"  school,  or  «  Sellaria  ".     (Had.  Let.  XVI). 

Addison  in  his  "  Remarks  on  Italy  "  says;  "  They 
often  find  medals  in  this  island.  Many  of  these  they 
call  the  Spintriae,  which  Aretin  has  copied,  have  been 

dug  up  here Those  I  have  conversed  with  about 

it,  are  of  opinion  they  were  made  to  ridicule  the 
brutality  of  Tiberius,  though  I  cannot  but  believe  they 
were  stamped  by  his  order.  They  are  unquestionably 
antique  ,  and  no  bigger  than  medals  of  the  third 
magnitude.  They  bear  on  one  side  some  lewd  invention 
of  that  hellish  society  which  Suetonius  calls  "  monstrosi 
concubitus  repertores  \  and  on  the  other  the  number 
of  the  medal.  I  have  seen  as  high  as  to  twenty.  1 
cannot  think  they  were  made  as  a  jest  on  the  Emperor, 
because  raillery  on  coins  is  of  a  modern  date  ". 

Thus  finally  does  the  pure  and  logical  Feola  crush  the 
heated  imaginings  of  Hadrava;  "  These  opinions  vanish 
when  on*e  reflects  on  the  details  ;  these  continous 
chambers  not  being  adorned  with  that  elegance,  which 
would  be  demanded  especially  in  "  Sellarie  ^  (Feola, 
Chap.  Vll).  "  Thus  it  seems  not  to  be  in  doubt,  that 
the  above  described  ruins  called  "  Le  Camerelle  " , 
formed  the  street  of  communication  between  the  Villa 
of  Castiglione  and  Valentino,  as  far  as  the  higher  part 
of  Tragara ,  where  one  cannot  doubt  stood  another 
Imperial  Villa  long  since  destroyed  by  time,  and  the 
ruthless  hand  of  man.  "     (Feola,  Chap.  VII). 

In  our  examination  of  the  Roman  remains  in 
Capri ,    we  must   not  lose  sight  of  the  fact   that ,    the 

180  THE   BOOK   OF  CAPRI 

Romans ,  more  far-sighted  and  more  luxurious  than 
ourselves,  never  failed  to  make  ample  provision  for  a 
generous  supply  of  water;  their  needs  were  immense: 
provision  had  to  be  made  for  innumerable  troops  of 
slaves  and  animals ;  the  constant  watering  of  their 
gardens ;  and  above  all,  for  the  baths ,  which  were  so 
indispensible  to  every  right-minded  Roman  ,  and  for 
which  never  failing  streams  of  water  must  be  available. 
A  much  later  writer ,  Colonel  Mackowen  says ; 
"  The  Camerelle  were  a  series  of  cells ,  formed  by 
arches,  closed  at  both  ends,  and  were  used  as  cisterns, 
for  catching  and  preserving  rain  water;  and  on  the 
top  of  the  arches  was  a  road  which  led  from  Tragara 
to  Castiglione  ;  back  of  these  cells  exist  other  cisterns 
much  larger,  and  the  quantity  of  water  which  could  be 

collected  in  them  must  have  been  immense The 

cisterns  of  Camerelle  were  not  only  built  to  furnish 
water  for  the  baths  and  household  of  Tiberius  ,  but 
some  years  ago  a  canal  was  discovered ,  which  led 
down  to  the  Port  of  Tragara ,  and  in  this  canal  were 
found  leaden  pipes,  which  could  have  been  used  only 
for  conveying  drinking  water  to  the  Roman  fleet  ". 
Mackowen,  "  Capri  "  p.  174). 

Molo  and  Sco^lio  della  Sirena. 

The  harbour  on  the  south  side  of  the  island , 
overshadowed  by  the  towering  heights  of  Monte  Solaro, 
is  called  by  foreigners  the  Piccola  Marina:  the  islanders 
however  invariably  speak  of  it  as  the  Mulo,  which  is 
probably  a  corruption  of  Molo,  the  Italian  word  for  a 
Port  or  Mole.  On  the  west  side  can  be  seen  above 
and  below  the  sea-level,  immense  masses  of  Roman 
masonry.  These  ruins  are  in  all  probability  the  remains 
of  a  break-water,  which  existed  in  ancient  times;  "  there 
was  need  of  a  Port  at  this  point  to  contain  the  ships 
of  the  Emperor,  which  were  always  kept  in  readiness  \ 
(Feola.  Chap.  111). 

''  it  may  be  assumed  that  in  addition  to  the  har- 
bour works,  other  settlements,  possibly  small  country 
houses  and  baths  stood  here,  and  that  the  same  have 
been  destroyed,  and  partially  cast  into  the  sea,  for  such 
remains  are  still  to  be  seen  on  the  sea-shore  \  ("  Capri  \ 
Weichardt.  p.  47). 

182  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 


A  flat  mass  of  rock  of  considerable  size  extends 
from  this  beach,  which  from  the  remotest  age  of  Homer, 
has  retained  the  name  of  "  Scogh'o  della  Sirena  ",  as 
being  the  special  place  frequented  by  the  sirens,  accor- 
ding to  the  annotation  of  Servius,  referring  to  the  864th 
verse  of  the  Fifth  Book  of  the  Aeneid.    (Feola.  Chap.  111). 


The  island  o'  Monacone  lies  a  little  to  the  east  of 
the  Faraglioni  rocks.  The  top  of  the  island  is  reached 
by  a  hole,  through  which  the  climber  passes  over  rough 
rocks,  until  he  reaches  an  ancient  flight  of  steps  which 
leads  to  a  crescent  shaped  slope  measuring  500  feet  by 
100   and  shelving  towards  the  east. 

This  little  islet  has  acquired  a  fictitious  fame  , 
quite  out  of  proportion  to  its  size,  from  the  fact  that 
it  has  been  identified  as  the  "  Island  of  Sloth  \  or  the 
"  City  of  the  Do-littles  ^  referred  to  by  Suetonius  in 
the  following  passage,  which  is  perhaps  worthy  of  being 
trascribed  in  full.  "  Augustus  called  an  island  near 
Capri  AizpayonoXK;  "-  the  City  of  the  Do-littles  ",  from 
the  indolent  life  which  several  of  his  party  led  there. 
A  favourite  of  his,  one  Masgabas,  (who  seems  by  his 
name  to  have  been  of  African  origin),  he  used  to  call 
KxtaxTj;,  as  if  he  had  been  the  planter  of  the  island. 
And  observing  from  his  room  a  great  company  of 
people  with  torches,  assembled  at  the  tomb  of  this 
Masgasbas,  who  died  the  year  before,  he  uttered  very 
distinctly  this  verse,  which  he  made  extempore. 

Kx'.aiou   to,  xuijipo.  s'.aopo)  Tto'jpo6|i,svov    " 

Blazing  with  lights,  I  see  the  founder's  tomb. 

184  THE   BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

Then  turning  to  Thrasyllus  ,  a  companion  of 
Tiberius,  who  rech'ned  on  the  other  side  of  the  table, 
he  asked  him,  who  knew  nothing  about  the  matter,  what 
poet  he  thought  was  the  author  of  that  verse:  and  on 
his  hesitating  to  reply,  he  added  another. 

"   'Opag  cpaeaai  Maayapav  xiiiwjjievov  „ 
Honor'd  with  torches  Masgabas  you  see  : 

and  put  the  same  question  to  him  concerning  that 
likewise.  The  latter  replying  that,  whatever  might  be 
the  author,  they  were  excellent  verses,  he  set  up  a 
great  laugh,  and  fell  into  an  extraordinary  vein  of  jesting 
upon  it  \    (Suet.  Aug.  98). 

There  is  no  accessible  island  near  Capri  other 
than  the  Monacone,  we  must  therefore  perforce  take 
it  for  granted,  notwithstanding  its  insignificance,  that  on 
the  plateau  forming  the  top  of  this  rocky  islet,  the 
pampered  and  nerve  worn  companions  of  Augustus 
exerted  themselves  in  doing  nothing,  an  accomplishment 
which  in  these  latter  days  has  not  entirely  been  lost  by 
the  dwellers  in  Capri. 

Feola  says;  "  Here  too  one  recognises  remains 
of  ancient  brick  work.  This  has  led  me  to  the  opin- 
ion ,  that  it  may  be  the  tomb  in  which  was  buried 
Masgasbas,  the  favorite  of  the  Emperor,  the  year  before 
his  last  coming  to  this  island  \    (Feola  Chap.  Vlll). 

"  The  island  of  Monacone  still  has  remains  of  a 
tomb,  from  which  however  the  sarcophagus,  if  one 
ever  existed,  has  been  removed  ".  (Mackowen.  Capri 
p.  178  and  Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  137). 


The  Certosa  Cloisters,  on  the  south  side  of  the 
island,  occupy  a  warm  and  sunny  plateau  between  the 
hills  of  Castiglione  and  Telegrafo.  A  fruitful  sheltered 
valley  skirts  this  huge  block  of  buildings  on  the  east. 
As  is  well  known,  all  Carthusian  monasteries  in  Italy 
are  called  "  Certosa  ",  this  being  the  Italian  equivalent  of 
"  Chartreuse  ",  the  noble  monastery  in  southern  France, 
where  the  founder  St.  Bruno  retired.  Until  quite  re- 
cently the  Certosa  has  been  used  as  a  Military  Prison 
of  Discipline. 

"  On  its  eastern  side  antique  Roman  walls  are 
seen,  which  serve  as  foundations  for  the  monastery 
walls,  and  it  is  very  probable  that  the  builders  of  this 
religious  house  used  antique  foundations  in  a  great 
measure,  for  many  antique  walls  can  be  seen  in  the 
vicinity  ".  (Mackowen, "  Capri  ",  p.  172).  Hadrava  also 
places  here  an  Imperial  residence.  (Had.  Let.  XV 
and  Romanelli,  p.  87). 

"  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  an  Imperial  palace 
once  stood  here  whose  builder  was  Augustus  ,  while 
the  wide  court  yards  surrounded  by  halls  and  massive 

186  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

building-complexes,  which  we  can  detect  today  look 
more  like  a  Roman  Palace  than  Cloisters.  Again  in 
the  cloister  garden,  enclosed  within  a  high  wall  ,  are 
still  found  Roman  foundations,  fractions  of  marbles 
and  coins:  but  it  is  more  particutarly  on  the  elevation 
in  the  south-west,  on  which  two  narrow  rocks  connected 
by  an  arch  form  a  plateau,  that  a  small  building  ap- 
purtenant to  the  Palace  probably  stood  ^  ("  Capri  ", 
Weichardt  p.  58  &  59).  The  enormous  cisterns,  which 
in  time  of  a  water  famine  are  thrown  open  for  the  use 
of  the  people,  are  also  unquestionably  of  Roman  con- 

"  During  the  reign  of  Joanna,  1,  Giacomo  Arcucci, 
Count  of  Minervino  and  Altamura,  founded  the  mon- 
astery called  Certosa,  and  by  a  deed  dated  May  1st  1372 
the  Queen  granted  considerable  tracts  of  land  on  the 
island  to  this  Carthusian  monastery,  whose  construction 
commenced  that  same  year  ".  (Mang.  Ric.  Stor,  p.  356). 
Some  years  afterwards  Arcucci  fell  into  disgrace  with 
the  powers  that  be,  and  sought  shelter  at  Certosa, 
where  the  monks  received  him  affectionately,  and  where 
he  died  in  1397.  The  monks  gave  him  a  stately  fu- 
neral, and  erected  in  his  memory  a  handsome  marble 
tomb  in  the  monastery  Church. 

The  Monastery  of  Certosa  was  thus  described  by 
Hadrava  more  than  a  century  ago;  "  The  fathers  pos- 
sess all  the  ground  in  this  part  of  the  island,  and  much 
elsewhere  both  in  Capri  and  on  the  mainland.  There 
are  only  fourteen  of  them,  with  a  revenue  of  12,000 
ducats  (about  £2000),  who  give  away  in  alms  enough 
corn  and  bread  for  the  wants  of  the  poorest  in  the 
island,    besides   contributing   to   various   extraordinary 


expenses  of  the  Bishop:  They  make  the  best  bread 
and  an  excellent  "  rosoh'o  ",  or  h'queur.  They  are  now 
and  then  engaged  in  h'tigation  with  the  Chapter,  for  the 
simple  reason  that  wealth  opposed  to  beggary  brings 
forth  envy  \  (Had,  Let,  XXV).  The  dismantled  Church 
of  San  Salvatore  is  of  fine  proportions,  159  feet  long 
by  40  in  width.  The  altar  has  been  removed  to  a 
Church  at  Posilippo. 

Palazzo  Inglese. 

By  far  the  most  conspicuous  block  of  buildings  on 
the  north  side  of  the  island  is  the  Palazzo  Inglese,  or 
Canale.  Embedded  in  orange  groves  it  faces  full  north, 
and  from  its  broad  and  ample  loggia  commands  all 
the  lower  part  of  the  island.  It  was  erected  by  Sir 
Nathaniel  Thorold,  a  Lincolnshire  Baronet,  who  having 
run  through  his  fortune  at  home ,  retired  to  Italy  and 
established  at  Genoa  a  trade  in  salt  and  dried  codfish, 
from  which  he  realised  a  considerable  fortune.  He 
eventually  determined  to  enjoy  the  fruits  of  his  labour 
in  peace  and  leisurely  seclusion  ,  and  came  to  Capri , 
where  he  erected  the  Palazzo  Inglese ,  which  was  at 
that  time  ,  and  long  continued  ,  the  most  imposing 
mansion  on  the  island.  The  date  of  his  arrival  in  Capri 
is  not  certain,  but  he  is  known  to  have  died  in  1764. 
After  his  death  the  Palazzo  passed  into  the  possession 
of  the  Canale  family.  Those,  who  would  learn  more 
of  the  interesting  romance  connected  with  Palazzo 
Inglese  should  consult  •*  Dolce  Napoli  "  by  Stamer, 
pp,  242  to  246, 

"  During  the  visit  of  twelve  or  fifteen  days  made 
to  the  island  by  King  Ferdinand  IV  of  Naples,  he  was 

190  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

quartered  with  all  his  suite  in  the  house  of  Thorold , 
a  rich  English  merchant,  who  passing  his  life  here  for 
many  years ,  built  a  house  like  a  castle ,  and  adorned 
it  with  English  furniture,  and  every  convenience.  After 
he  had  finished  his  happy  days ,  the  house  passed  to 
the  family  of  Canale,  to  whom  he  had  left  it.  This  is 
the  most  beautiful  house  on  the  island,  and  charmingly 
situated.  On  going  out  of  the  drawing-room  ,  one 
comes  to  a  loggia ,  from  which  is  seen  a  magnificent 
picture ,  the  entire  island  being  spread  out  like  an 
amphitheatre,  while  opposite  the  shores  of  Naples  can 
be  clearly  distinguished  \    (Had.  Let.  IV). 

During  the  French  attack  on  Capri  in  1808,  Colonel, 
afterwards  Sir  Hudson  Lowe ,  ( who  was  destined 
later  to  figure  as  the  tactless  and  ungenerous  gaoler  of 
Napoleon  at  St.  Helena)  made  the  Palazzo  Inglese  his 
headquarters.  This  naturally  concentrated  on  himself 
and  his  abode  the  relentless  fire  of  the  French  batte- 
ries. As  may  still  be  seen,  the  French  "  held  straight ", 
and  the  Palazzo  was  left  in  a  somewhat  dilapidated 
condition,  from  which  it  has  never  entirely  recovered. 

"  In  front  of  the  entrance  "  says  Feola  "  one 
perceives  a  block  of  stone  of  oblong  form,  measuring  V2 
foot  in  length  and  9  inches  in  breadth,  which  is  used 
as  a  threshold.  An  inscription  in  Greek  characters  can 
be  seen  on  the  stone,  and  though  worn  away  by  con- 
stant traffic,  is  not  entirely  erased,  as  the  letters  were 
originally  deeply  cut.  It  is  possible  to  make  out  the 

ME  :  -^  AKAEOS 
r         EESTAN 


Gneus  Magacles  Patronus  Pestanorum  ^  (Feola  Chap, 
v.).  About  fifteen  years  ago  this  stone  was  acquired 
from  the  Canale  family  by  the  late  Mr.  Wreford  ,  and 
was  removed  by  him  to  his  Villa  Cesina,  where  it 
still  can  be  seen.  The  stone  was  in  all  probablity  a 
boundary  stone,  to  mark  the  limits  of  the  property  of 


Roman  remains  at  Anacapri. 

Feola  assumes  that  twelve  Imperial  Palaces  were 
erected  on  the  island  either  by  Augustus  or  Tiberius, 
as  he  only  finds  in  the  present  Commune  of  Capri 
traces  of  six  such  Palaces  of  sufficient  magnitude  to 
be  considered  Imperial  Palaces,  he  concludes  that  the 
remainder  must  be  looked  for  in  Anacapri.  He  accor- 
dingly enumerates  the  following  districts  as  having  been 
the  sites  of  Imperial  Palaces,  which  he  inclines  to  at- 
tribute to  Augustus  : 

Capo  di  Monte  ; 
II  Pozzo  ; 
monticello  ; 
Veterino  ; 

(Feola.    Chap.  XIV). 

Whether  these  Villas  were  Imperial  Palaces,  or 
merely  the  country  houses  of  rich  and  influential  attend- 
ants on  the  Emperors,  is,  and  must  always  remain, 
matter  of  conjecture.  Certain  it  is  that,  at  all  the  above 
sites    in    Anacapri ,    considerable    and    unmistakeable 



Roman  remains  were  visible  in  the  time  of  Feola  and 
Mangoni.  Having  regard  to  the  magnificent  and  com- 
manding situation  of  Damecuta  ,  placed,  "  on  a  four- 
sided  eminence  "  and  to  the  enormous  extent  of  the 
remains  to  be  seen  at  II  Pozzo,  it  may  not  be  rash 
to  assume  at  any  rate  that,  these  two  latter  were  Impe- 
rial Palaces. 

Capo  di  Monte. 

Excavations  were  conducted  here  by  Duke  Gallo 
of  Naples,  and  brought  to  light  ruins  of  walls,  pave- 
ments, sheets  of  marble  etc.  (Feola  Chap.  XIV). 

//  Pozzo. 

A  vast  vaulted  building  of  Roman  work,  it  is 
composed  of  three  vaults  communicating  with  each 
other,  each  16  feet  in  lenght ,  and  14  in  breath,  the 
whole  space  occupied  being  7171  feet.  As  in  the  Villa 
Jovis,  the  vaulted  chambers  certainly  formed  the  found- 
ation of  a  vast  Palace.  Tesselated  pavements  and 
bas-reliefs  were  found  here.    (Feola.  Chap.  XIV). 


Feola  himself  saw  here  a  large  room  with  a  pave- 
ment of  minute  "  tesserae  ",  and  walls  ornamented 
inside  with  polished  "  intonaco  "  of  bright  red,  blue, 
and  yellow,  and  the  remains  of  delicate  cornices.  (Feo- 
la. Chap.  XIV). 


Feola  mentions  finding  on  this  spot  the  remains 
of  a  wall  9  feet  in  length.  The  masonry  was  in  part 
covered  with  "  intonaco  ",  which  shows  that  it  was 
used  as  a  dwelling.  For  the  convenience  of  these  Villas, 
roads,  of  which  traces  can  be  seen  in  numerous 
places,  were  probably  made  by  the  Emperor  Augustus. 


Vaults,  formed  the  foundations  of  the  above-mentioned 
road,  which  not  only  led  to  the  Villas  of  Pozzo,  Vete- 
rino,  and  Monticello,  but  also  to  the  Port  on  the  north 
called  Gradolo,  so  that  we  may  without  presumption 
conclude,  that  all  these  Villas  had  road  connection  with 
this  Port.    (Feola.  Chap.  XIV). 


This  Villa  situated  on  a  four  sided  eminence,  like 
a  "  loggia  "  overhanging  the  sea,  was  according  to 
Mangoni  "  the  fifth  Imperial  Palace,  which  1  think  was 
the  largest,  built  by  Augustus  in  Anacapri  \  (Man- 
goni. Ric.  Top.  p.  255).  Antiquarians  have  supposed 
that  the  name  Damecuta  is  a  corruption  of  "  Domus 
Augusti  "  :  this  definition  does  not  commend  itself  to 
us,  especially  as  it  is  not  claimed  that  any  of  the  other 
sites  occupied  by  Roman  Villas,  Imperial  or  otherwise, 
still  preserve  their  original,  or  a  corruption  of  their 
original  names. 

Feola  suggests  that  the  doctor  of  Augustus,  Anto- 
nius  Musa,  recommended  the  Emperor  to  make  use  of 
this  Villa  in  preference  to  the  Villa  Jovis,  thinking  that 
the  purity  of  the  air  would  be  beneficial  to  the  disease, 
relaxation  of  the  bowels,  from  which  he  suffered.  (Feo- 
la. Chap.  XIV).  Feola  informs  us  that  the  length  of 
the  space  covered  by  the  Palace  was  50  feet,  breadth 
31  feet,  forming  an  anterior  area  of  15750  feet.  On 
the  north  side  still  stands  a  Tower,  (lately  renovated 
by  Dr.  Axel  Munthe),  which  was  used  "  as  a  watch- 
tower  to  give  warning  to  the  inhabitants  of  the  ap- 
proach of  the  Saracens  ".  Tesselated  pavements  were 
found  near  this  Tower  to  the  west :  higher  up  on  the 
western  side,  the    remains    of  antique    reticulated    ma- 


sonry,  formed  partly  of  the  rock  of  the  island,  and 
partly  of  tufa  of  Posiljppo,  have  been  brought  to 
light  ". 

On  the  south  side  Mangoni  mentions  two  vaulted 
receptacles  for  water,  length  145  feet,  breadth  16  Vs 
feet.  He  further  mentions  the  discovery  of  marble 
columns,  and  a  capitol  of  the  Doric  order.  (Mang.  Ric. 
Top.  p.  259). 

In  his  Note  to  Feola,  (Chap  XIV,)  Dr.  Cerio  informs 
us  that  in  more  recent  times  remains  of  pavements  of 
coloured  marbles,  capitols  of  the  Doric  order,  and 
other  columns  of  "  bigio  antico  "  and  "  cipollino  ", 
but  reduced  to  fragments,  have  been  brought  to  light. 
Amidst  the  ruins  of  a  large  semicircular  chamber  was 
found  a  beautiful  pavement,  almost  intact,  composed 
of  large  bricks  of  "  palombino  ",  a  stone  which  in  its 
extreme  whiteness  resembles  ivory. 

A  very  fine  fragment  of  a  marble  vase,  adorned 
with  garlands  and  clusters  of  flowers  was  found  at 
Damecuta,  and  is  now  in  the  possession  of  Mr.  C.  C. 
Coleman  at  Villa  Narcissus,  as  well  as  a  terra-cotta 
female  head. 

It  was  on  the  level  plateau  of  Damecuta  that  the 
English  under  Major  Hamill  were  camped,  and  from 
thence  marched  to  meet  the  French  under  General  La- 
marque.    (Mang.  Ric.  Top.  Chap.  29). 

Campo  Pisco. 

In  or  about  the  year  1683  Bishop  Gallo  bought 
and  rebuilt  the  house  at  Fortino,  and  from  this  fact  the 
present  name  Campo  Pisco ,  which  is  a  corruption  of 
"  campus  episcopus  ",  is  derived.    (Had.  Let.  XX). 

In  this  place  Hadrava  discovered  various  concrete 
pavements,  an  infinite  quantity  of  "  giallo  antico  ",  and 
in  another  excavation  a  great  quantity  of  fragments  of 
marble  of  different  colours ,  and  especially  lapislazuli. 
He  also  found  a  bust  of  Vesta.  (Romanelli  p.  108. 
Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  212).  From  the  absence  of  any 
choice  works  of  art  Mangoni  supposes  that  the  buildings 
existing  here  were  part  of  some  Public  building:  others 
have  conjectured  that  they  were  the  remains  of  a  Temple 
of  Vesta. 

In  1809  the  French  erected  a  fort  on  this  site. 

Porto  Tragara. 

The  Port  of  Tragara  was  evidently  used  by  the 
Romans  as  a  harbour ,  and  would  afford  shelter  to 
their  galleys  from  the  westerly  and  northern  gales. 
On  one  of  the  rocky  points  at  the  beginning  of  the 
inner  part  of  the  landing  place,  can  be  observed  below 
the  level  of  the  sea ,  three  distinct  pieces  of  masonry 
at  equal  distances  apart ,  which  might  have  been  the 
foundations  of  elevated  piles,  to  support  arches,  which 
formed  the  "  banchetta  ",  or  Mole.  These  are  distin- 
guished by  the  name  of  "  Preciolelle  ".  (Feola  , 
Chap.  VllI). 

The  landing  place  is  at  the  north  west  corner  of 
the  port ;  a  flight  of  steps  can  be  seen  at  a  depth  of 
22  feet  below  the  water,  and  a  portion  of  a  stairway, 
which  led  to  the  water's  edge,  still  exists.  On  the 
western  side  of  the  port  are  massive  walls ,  some  of 
which  are  of  Roman  construction  ,  and  some  of  later 
date;  the  latter  were  most  likely  built  to  prevent  the 
landing  of  the  Saracens,  in  the  middle  ages.  (Mackowen, 
p.  176). 

200  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Several  large  leaden  pipes  were  found  not  many 
years  ago ,  embedded  in  the  soil  near  Porto  Tragara , 
which  probably  were  used  to  conduct  the  water  needed 
for  the  use  of  the  Roman  galleys,  from  large  reservoirs, 
which  were  situated  on  the  hills  of  Castiglione  and 
San  Michele.  Dr.  I.  Cerio  tells  us,  that  a  few  years  ago 
fragments  of  iron  rings  could  be  seen  attached  to  the 
rocks,  and  evidently  used  for  mooring  ships. 

Truglio  and  Sopra-Fontana. 

Near  the  Aqueduct  in  the  middle  of  the  Piazzetta 
of  the  Grande  Marina  ,  excavations  were  made  in  the 
time  of  Francis  I  (1827),  and  the  ruins  of  several 
apartments  ,  the  vaults  of  which  were  totally  crushed  , 
the  walls  demolished  ,  and  the  pavements  almost 
obliterated,  were  brought  to  light.  Two  pavements  of 
yellow  and  green  marble  were  found  on  this  spot,  and 
removed  to  Naples.  Mangoni  informs  us  that  a  column 
of  "  giallo  antico  "  ,  measuring  nine  feet  in  height , 
and  fifteen  inches  in  diameter,  and  five  headless  statues, 
(of  which  one  of  colossal  size  was  recognised  as  a 
statue  of  Tiberius),  as  well  as  a  smaller  statue  of  a 
young  warrior  in  short  tunic,  were  discovered  here. 
(Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  190). 


At  the  Fontana  close  by ,  four  cisterns  were 
discovered:  two  of  these  measured  183  feet  in  length, 
and  32  feet  in  breadth.  These  cisterns  were  probably 
built  to  supply  water  to  the  adjoining  Villas,  and  are 
to  this  day  full  of  spring,  or  at  any  rate  flowing  water, 

202  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

and  there  is  no  record  of  their  having  ever  run  dry. 
(Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  196).  In  one  of  these  cisterns 
was  found  a  porphyry  head  of  a  divinity,  or  Egyptian 
priest.    (Secondo,  Relazione,   p.  17). 

Schoener  remarks;  "  There  are  three  very  interesting 
cisterns  in  a  row,  the  first  of  which  has  the  remarkable 
length  of  59  metres  (200  Roman  feet),  with  a  width  of 
ten  metres,  and  a  height  of  five  metres.  They  show 
evidence  of  great  antiquity  and  extreme  solidity.  The 
vaulting  is  of  great  strength.  The  walls  are  two  metres 
in  thickness.  At  the  entrance  on  the  north  side  ,  one 
can  see   that   they   consist   of   brick-shaped   tufa   and 

*  opus  reticulatum  " Three  quadrangular  holes 

in  the   vaulting  may   have    been  for   the   purpose   of 

admitting  light There  was  a    tradition  that   this 

mighty  cistern  was  never  without  water ,  and  that  it 
could  not  be  ascertained  whence  the  water  came. 
In  the  summer  1880-1881  in  consequence  of  prolonged 
draught,  this  cistern  became  empty:  it  was  then  seen 
that  the  water  came  from  the  adjoining  smaller  cistern 
by  a  communicating  opening ,  and  that  the  latter 
contained  the  spring.  Of  these  cisterns  which  are 
closely  connected,  and  quite  of  the  same  construction, 
there  are  three  ,  and  not  four  as  Mangoni  indicates. 
Only  the  westernmost  cistern  has  the  above  described 

dimensions,  the  other  two  being  much  smaller it 

is  evident  that  these  cisterns  were  the  public  reservoirs 
of  the  ancient  town,  they  were  nearer  than  any  other 
source  of  water,  and  it  is  certainly  not  without  reason, 
that  three  paths  meet  here  \    (Schoener,  Chap.  V). 

An  immense  quantity  of  very  fine  chalk  was  found 
at  the  botton  of  the  cistern ,  which  contained   metallic 


particles ,  which  when  dry  became  of  a  pecuh'ar  blue 
colour.  This  fact  has  given  rise  to  the  idea  that  in 
the  days  of  Tiberius,  the  celebrated  "  Murrini  "  vases 
were  manufactured  on  the  island.  (Romanelli  p.  105). 
For  further  information  in  regard  to  these  peculiar  and 
precious  vases.    (Part.  II,  Chap.  IX  Palazzo  a  Mare). 


Villa  at  Aiano. 

The  district  now  called  Aiano,  lies  towards  the 
south  west  end  of  the  Valley  of  the  Marina,  and  about 
half  way  up  the  hill.  Hadrava  places  here  an  Imperial 
Villa,  and  Mangoni  follows  suit.  The  latter  remarks; 
"  In  times  not  very  remote,  many  subterranean  cham- 
bers were  discovered,  in  which  I  recognised  pavements 
of  ancient  coloured  marbles  and  several  tablets  of  white 
marble,  as  well  as  the  remains  of  an  acqueduct  containing 
several  hundred  pounds  of  lead  piping  ".  (Mang.  Ric. 
Top.  p.  208,  and  Romanelli.  p.  109).  "  In  the  environs 
were  found  in  times  long  ago,  eight  magnificent  antique 
columns,  of  which  four  were  of  "  giallo  antico  ",  and 
the  remainder  of  Egyptian  "  cipollino  ",  each  of  twenty 
feet  in  height  and  in  one  piece:  for  many  years  they 
served  to  adorn  the  ancient  Cathedral  of  San  Costanzo, 
which  is  not  far  from  the  place  of  their  discovery. 
Those  of  "  giallo  antico  "  were  afterwards  removed  to 
the  Royal  Chapel  of  Caserta,  where  they  may  be  seen 
today  (Romanelli,  p.  109);  while  the  remaining  four  of 
Egyptian  "  cipollino  "  can  still  be  seen  by  the  travel- 
ler in  the  Church  of  San  Costanzo  ".  (Mang.  Ric. 
Top.  p.  208). 

206  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

"  On  entering  the  piece  of  property  occupying  the 
northern  part  of  the  hill,  immediately  to  the  left  we 
find  a  rough  wall  45  paces  long,  well  preserved,  and 
partly  covered  with  "  opus  reticulatum  ",  and  beyond 
following  the  same  direction,  another  wall  slightly  in 
advance.  The  latter,  against  which  the  peasant's  dwel- 
ling rests,  is  about  thirty  paces  long,  and  rises  in  se- 
veral gradations  to  the  height  of  about  five  metres, 
showing  traces  of  brick  mosaic  pavement.  Above  these 
walls  is  a  terrace,  planted  with  vines;  behind  which 
rises  another  antique  wall  of  "  opus  incertum  "  and 
brick  work.  The  six  layers  of  brickwork  show  con- 
clusively, that  this  wall  belongs  to  the  Tiberian  buil- 
dings. The  breadth  of  the  terrace  (about  12  metres), 
is  the  same  as  that  of  the  Villa  of  San  Michele,  the 
Camerelle,  and  Punta  Tragara.  The  walls  are  parallel, 
and  run  from  W.  N.  W.  to  E.  S.  E.  \  (Schoener, 
Chap.  X). 

Blue  Grotto. 

At  the  present  time  the  Blue  Grotto  is  the  principal 
attraction  of  the  island,  and  yearly  brings  from  30,000 
to  35,000  visitors  to  Capri.  Each  visitor  pays  a  tax  of 
Lire  1,25,  which  furnishes  a  considerable  source  of  re- 
venue, and  is  divided  between  the  Municipalty,  the  poor 
of  Capri,  and  the  mariners. 

The  strangely  evasive  blue  light  which  suffuses  the 
Grotto  has  been  so  often  described  by  pens  more  full 
of  poetry  and  Teutonic  idealism  than  mine,  that  I  will 
leave  the  visitor  to  satisfy  the  imaginative  and  pictorial 
portion  of  his  soul  from  such  pen-paintings.  I  .will 
merely  confine  myself  to  facts. 

The  grotto  as  we  see  it  today,  is  elliptical  in  shape 
with  extensions  north,  east,  and  south  west.  It  is  163 
feet  long  by  83  feet  wide,  its  greatest  height  is  50  feet, 
with  a  depth  of  60  to  70  feet,  which  varies  according 
to  the  direction,  and  force  of  the  wind.  The  height  of 
the  present  entrance  is  6  V^  feet,  3  feet  being  under 

Mackowen  says; "  Since  the  Blue  Grotto  has  been 
hollowed  out  to  its  present  size ,  it  has  been  about 
sixteen  feet    lower  in  the   water  than   at   present,  and 

208  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

must  have  remained  at  that  level  some  hundreds  of 
years,  because  a  line  of  holes,  which  in  some  cases 
have  a  depth  of  several  feet,  can  be  seen  running  round 
the  inside  of  the  Grotto,  about  sixteen  feet  above  the 
present  level.  When  the  Grotto  was  at  this  lower 
level,  the  sea  water  could  run  into  the  passage  at  the 
back,  and  thus  destroyed  the  continuation  of  the  pave- 
ment, which  now  exists  under  the  artificial  arch  ,  with 
the  pavement  in  the  passage;  this  latter  pavement  has 
been  cracked,  and  in  great  part  destroyed  by  the  rising 
and  subsidence    of   the  island  ^    (Mackowen.  p.  156), 

Weichardt  remarks ;  "  Clear  traces  of  the  mediaeval 
sea-level,  5  metres  above  that  of  the  present  day  ,  are 
recognisable  on  the  interior  walls  of  the  Grotto.  The 
entrance  to  the  Grotto  was  consequently  entirely  cov- 
ered, and  the  Grotto  thus  unknown  in  post  -  Roman 
days,  namely  until  the  island  once  more  rose  to  its 
present  level  ".    (Weichardt. "  Capri.  "  p.  43). 

"  Nearly  15  feet  above  the  water  level  within  the 
Grotto,  there  is  a  row  of  holes  upon  the  sides  evidently 
produced  by  the  action  of  the  water.  The  island  there- 
fore in  past  antique  times  must  have  been  15  feet 
deeper  in  the  water  than  today  ".    (Schoener.  Chap.  X). 

Again  referring  to  Mackowen  who  has  made  a 
special  study  of  the  Blue  Grotto:  "  The  present  entrance 
to  the  Grotto  is  through  an  arch  whose  height  above 
the  present  water  level  is  three  feet,  and  a  half,  the 
depth  of  the  water  under  the  arch  is  three  feet,  which 
gives  an  arched  entrance,  whose  height  below  and  above 
the  water-level,  amounts  to  six  and  a  half  feet,  with  a 
width  of  three  and  a  half.  On  close  inspection  it  will 
be  seen  that  the  rock  which   forms   the   floor  of  this 

BLUE     GROTTO  209 

arched  entrance  was  level,  and  that  this  level  floor 
projects  several  feet  into  the  sea  in  front  of  the  arch 
in  the  shape  of  a  commodious  platform.  The  vertical 
sides  of  this  entrance  meet  the  level  platform  at  right 
angles,  and  it  is  seen  at  a  glance  that  this  entrance  is 
artificial,  and  has  not  been  formed  by  the  action  of  the 
sea  water,  for  under  those  circumstances  the  floor 
would  have  a  round  shape.  A  few  feet  to  the  right  of 
the  present  entrance,  and  at  a  depth  of  seven  and  a 
half  or  eight  feet  below  the  water  level,  can  be  seen 
the  top  of  a  large  arch  ,  which  widens  out  until  it 
reaches  a  profundity  of  about  thirty  feet,  then  the  two 
sides  approach  each  other  gradually  until  they  meet, 
forming  thus  a  large  round  hole  about  fifty  feet  high 
by  forty  in  width,  through  which  the  water  of  the  Bay 
of  Naples  flows  freely  in  and  out  of  the  Grotto  ". 
(Mackowen.  Capri  p.  158).  in  order  to  ventilate  the 
Grotto  "  an  opening  six  and  a  half  feet  high  was  cut 
through  the  rock,  four  feet  and  a  half  above  the  top 
of  the  old  entrance,  and  this  opening  furnishes  today 
the  only  means  of  access  to  the  interior  of  the  Grotto  \ 
("Mackowen.  p.  159). 

"  That  the  Grotto  was  used  in  ancient  times,  is  as- 
sumed, not  only  from  the  artificially  made  and  enlar- 
ged opening  with  its  level  base  projecting  like  a  plat- 
form, and  the  remains  of  steps  hewn  in  the  living  rock, 
leading  to  and  from  the  outside — but  also  from  other 
artificial  constructions  in  the  rear  of  the  Grotto  ". 
(Schoener.  Chap.  X). 

From  the  quotations  made  above,  it  will  be  seen 
that  we  have  every  right  to  assume  with  considerable 
security  that  the    Grotto    was   known  to   the  Romans, 


210  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

but  not  as  the  *  Blue  Grotto  ',  and  that  entry  was  made 
by  an  opening  now  submerged,  and  ventilation  afforded 
by  the  present  entrance.  We  may  further  be  sure  that 
by  the  gradual  subsidence  of  the  island  all  knowledge 
of  the  Grotto  was  lost  for  many  hundreds  of  years, 
how  many  exactly  we  have  no  means  of  estimating. 

Weichardt  remarks;  "  A  set  of  steps  cut  into  the 
outer  rock,  of  which  a  number  still  remain,  and  have 
recently  been  repaired,  then  led  from  the  entrance  up 
to  the  steep  wall  of  rock  and  onwards  to  the  heights, 
whereon  stood  a  not  unimportant  structure— also  sup- 
posed to  have  been  an  imperial  villa.  The  steps,  which 
began  on  a  platform  lying  in  the  sea  in  front  of  the 
antique  grotto-arch,  show  that  the  grotto  was  used  in 
the  time  of  antiquity  \    (Weichardt.  '*  Capri "  p.  42). 

"  About  eight  years  ago  a  flight  of  steps,  which 
leads  down  to  the  water  in  front  of  this  entrance,  was 
cut  out  of  the  solid  rock;  this  was  only  a  renovation 
of  an  old  flight  of  steps,  which  was  built  in  ancient 
times,  but  had  been  much  injured,  and  almost  totally  de- 
stroyed by  the  action  of  the  waves.  Remains  of  the  old 
Roman  masonry  may  still  be  seen  under  a  modern 
wall,  which  has  been  pierced  to  make  room  for  the 
new  flight  of   steps  ".    (Mackowen.  Capri,  p.  160). 

At  the  back  of  the  Grotto  is  a  passage  which 
penetrates  a  considerable  distance  into  the  mountain 
side.  Antiquarians  have  at  all  times  been  much  exercised 
in  their  minds  as  to  whether  this  passage  is  a  natural 
fissure,  caused  by  the  action  of  rainwater,  or  whether 
it  is  the  work  of  man  ,  and  was  a  secret  corridor 
leading  to  some  Villa  or  Palace  above  the  Grotto , 
(some  suggest    Damecuta).    Still    another   theory   has 

BLUE     GROTTO  211 

been  suggested  more  lately,  that  these  passages  may 
have  been  nothing  more  romantic  than  the  sewer  of  a 
Villa  above. 

1  have  thought  it  fair  to  the  reader  to  allow  him 
to  compare  the  respective  accounts  of  Mangoni ,  of 
Mackowen,  (who  is  undoudtedly  a  high  authority),  and 
of  Dr.  Schoener  the  latest  explorer,  who  tells  us  that 
he  penetrated  these  corridors  on  numerous  occasions. 
Mangoni  says ;  "  On  the  right  hand  of  the  Blue 
Grotto,  is  another  grotto  about  two  feet  above  the  level 
of  the  water,  which  enters  the  limestone  rock  in  a 
southerly  direction.  The  breadth  of  the  entrance  is 
about  26  feet ,  but  it  is  divided  midway  by  a  natural 
pillar  of  rock ,  so  that  it  has  two  distinct  entrances. 
At  the  beginning ,  it  is  sufficiently  high  ,  but  as  you 
advance  it  gets  lower,  and  the  breadth  also  dimimishes. 
At  the  same  time  one  may  suppose ,  that  anciently 
when  the  floor  was  not  so  covered  with  soil ,  it  was 
accessible.  This  subterranean  passage  advances  in  a 
straight  line  for  about  200  feet,  and  one  can  walk  on 
a    sort    of    cement    made    of    limestone    mixed    ^iith 

pebbles We  have  observed  no  ancient  masonry 

in  this  passage ,  except  a  great  quantity  of  rocks  for 
masonry,  and  a  stone  of  a  rectangular  shape  which  is 
seen  to  cover  the  upper  part  of  the  vault  at  its  end , 
which  might  have  been  placed  there  to  conceal  the 
Grotto  \    (Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  34-35). 

Mackowen  remarks;  **  in  the  back  part  is  an  arch, 
cut  out  of  the  solid  rock  ,  and  under  this  arch  is  a 
pavement  made  of  unhewn  stones  and  masonry:  below 
this  pavement  and  in  front  is  a  ledge  hewn  out  of  the 
rock,  and  on  the  right  of  this  ledge   are    the    remains 

212  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

of  Steps ,  which  probably  led  down  to  the  sea  level , 
when  the  island  stood  higher  out  of  the  water  than  it 
does  now.  This  arch  and  ledge  are  artificial,  because 
the  marks  of  the  chisel  can  be  plainly  seen.  The 
pavement  extends  a  short  distance  back  of  the  arch  into 
a, passage,  and  then  ceases  ,  but  the  passage  becoming 
narrower  as  it  proceeds,  extends  three  or  four  hundred 
feet  into  the  mountain.  There  the  passage  ends  abruptly, 
and  quantities  of  clay  exist  on  the  floor  and  sides,  to 
show  that  it  was  formed  naturally  by  the  action  of 
acidified  rainwater ,  dripping  through  a  fissure.  Many 
writers  have  adopted  the  theory  that  this  passage  was 
a  subterranean  entrance  to  the  grotto  from  some  place 
above,  but  a  close  examination  of  the  sides  shows  no 
marks  of  the  chisel,  nor  any  other  sign  to  prove  that 
it  is  artificial  \    (Mackowen.  p.  155). 

Those  who  believe  that  the  Grotto  was  the  theatre  of 
the  voluptuous  Tiberian  bathing  scenes,  have  readily 
accepted  the  supposition  that  it  was  in  secret  commu- 
nication with  one  of  the  imperial  palaces,  and  have 
without  much  thought,  asserted  that  a  corridor  in  the 
background  of  the  grotto  was  the  communication  by 
which  the  libidinous  tyrant  was  wont  to  betake  himself 
with  his  retinue  of  women  and  boys  to  the  magic 
bathing  place. 

Dr  Schoener,  who  frequently  explored  the  interior 
corridor  of  the  grotto ,  gives  the  following  results  of 
his  explorations,  which  1  have  transcribed  at  length,  as 
it  is  the  best  and  fullest  description  of  this  mysterious 
passage  ,  the  use  of  which  has  been  the  subject  of  so 
much  discussion.  "  He  who  inspects  the  opening  and 
first  few  steps  of   the   corridor    may   consider  himself 

BLUE     GROTTO  213 

justified  in  this  presumption.  The  opening  which  is 
about  150  feet  from  the  entrance  in  the  south  western 
part  of  the  grotto  has  a  width  of  nearly  30  feet.  It  is 
divided  by  a  pillar  of  rock  into  two  entrances  differing 
in  height  and  width.  The  one  in  advance,  which  faces 
the  entrance  of  the  grotto,  shows  distinct  traces  of  the 
chisel  on  its  walls  and  vault,  its  floor-way  three  feet 
in  thickness,  is  constructed  of  quarry  stone,  and  at  its 
foot  projects  a  small  platform  flush  with  the  present 
water  level,  from  which  steps  went  down  to  the  water 
level,  which  was  originally  18  feet  deeper,  in  the  interior 
of  the  subterranean  corridor  which  begins  here,  and  which 
leads  to  a  third ,  but  much  narrower  opening ,  in  the 
lower  part  of  the  cavern  ,  we  find  clear  -traces  of 
workmanship.  The  footway  consists  of  a  very  hard 
mass  of  limestone  and  hewn  rock :  the  ceiling  was 
covered  with  masonry  ,  which  has  since  for  the  most 
part  fallen  down.  Spacious  in  its  beginning  ,  the 
cavernous  opening  rapidly  diminishes  in  height  and  width, 
and  at  about  150  feet  from  the  entrance  there  are  no  visible 
traces  of  artificial  work.  The  direction  of  the  corridor 
is  nearly  due  south  west :  its  height  and  width  varying 
considerably.  Nowhere  can  more  than  two  persons 
walk  abreast :  for  the  most  part  there  is  only  room 
for  one  person,  and  often  it  is  necessary  to  stoop  very 
low ,  and  push  oneself  cautiously   along   between   the 

projecting  rocks 1  have  done  so  repeatedly,  and 

finally  traversed  as  far  as  600  feet  " "  As  1  was 

unable  to  find  any  native  who  had  penetrated  more 
than  300  feet,  and  who  could  boast  of  any  acquaintance 
with  the  corridor  1  undertook  to  make  the  expedition 
alone.     After  I  had  advanced  300   paces,    and   passed 

214  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

several  places  where  it  was  possible  to  make  progress 
only  by  stooping  and  edging  along  sidewise ,  I  saw 
the  way  obstructed  by  loose  fragments  of  rock.  Whether 
the  way  continued  beyond  this,  and  if  so  how  far,  I 
cannot  say.  From  the  condition  of  the  twisting  passage 
this  much  can  be  stated  with  certainty,  that  the  corridor 
is  nothing  more  or  less  than  a  natural  cavity,  (many 
such  existing  in  the  limestone  formation  of  the  island), 
and  it  is  absolutely  certain ,  that  it  could  never  have 
been  used  as  a  means  of  communication  between  the 
Grotto  and  an  imperial  palace.  Even  if  the  traces  of 
workmanship  on  the  walls  could  be  obliterated  by  the 
dripping  from  the  limestone  ,  which  covered  them 
with  a  thick  slimy  crust ,  it  is  inconceivable  that  the 
builders  should  have  neglected  to  remove  the  numerous 
inequalities  of  the  footway,  as  well  as  the  jagged  projec- 
tions from  the  walls  and  from  the  ceiling  which  cons- 
tantly menace  the  pedestrian  ".    (Schoener.  Chap.  X). 

Excavations  made  immediately  above  the  grotto  by 
Colonel  Mackowen  between  the  years  1875  and  1876 
discovered  the  remains  of  a  Roman  Villa ;  he  found, 
"  fragments  of  statues,  many  bits  of  coloured  marble  , 
columns  and  other  things  which  proved  the  richness 
with  which  this  palace  was  adorned  \  (Mackowen, 
p.  162). 

Dr.  Schoener  says ;  "  The  parts  of  the  Villa  were 
built  on  different  levels  in  consequence  of  the  sloping 
of  the  hill  seaward.  Only  a  small  portion  of  it  has 
been  excavated.  Above  small  rooms  of  "  opus 
reticulatum  "  are  to  be  seen  ,  cisterns  of  ""  opus 
incertum  "  and  a  few  bath-rooms:  further  below 
stuccoed  and  painted  rooms  with  marble  thresholds,  an 


irregular  building  with  two  round  niches  ,  looking 
towards  Portici  and  Ischia  —  and  behind  a  water  conduit, 
and  other  rooms  difficult  to  classify  \  (Schoener , 
Chap.  X). 

The  vexed  question  as  to  who  really  rediscovered 
the  Blue  Grotto,  after  its  disappearance  in  post-Roman 
times,  has  been  complicated  and  obscured  by  numerous 
references  by  various  writers  to  what  is  now  known  to 
be  the  Grotta  Oscura,  but  which  many  writers,  generally 
considered  careful  and  reliable ,  have  confounded  with 
the  then  unknown  Blue  Grotto.  Mr  Norman  Douglass 
remarks;  C  Blue  Grotto  and  its  Literature  ",  p.  7). 
"  Soon  after  1826  ,  attention  was  drawn  to  accounts 
by  older  writers  of  a  Grotta  Oscura  in  Capri.  The 
merit,  such  as  it  is,  of  starting  this  confusion  belongs, 
1  think  ,  to  Waiblinger.  Chevalley  de  Rivaz  and 
Stanislaus  d'  Aloe  also  refer  to  older  authors.  The 
latter  writes,  ("  Naples:  ses  Monuments  et  ses  Curiosites  "; 
1847)  ;  "  Our  friend,  Mr.  Kopisch  ,  rediscovered  the 
Blue  Grotto,  mentioned  by  the  historian    Capaccio  ". 

The  real  facts  appear  to  be  as  follows :  prior  to 
1832,  that  is,  six  years  after  the  German  painter  August 
Kopisch  rediscovered  the  Grotto,  there  is  no  clear  and 
unmistakeable  reference  to  it  by  early  writers.  The 
reference  gf  Capaccio  in  his  "  Historiae  Napolitanae  " 
published  in  1605;  "  Inter  speluncas,  una  reliqua  est, 
quam  ingressu  valde  obscuram  cernes,  in  lucidum  deinde 
sinum  desinit  in  quem  superne  aquarum  stillicidiis,  mare 
nimis  delectabile  redditur  ",  refers  probably  to  the 
Grotta  Oscura ,  and  not  to  the  Blue  Grotto ,  because 
no  mention  is  made  of  the  blue  light ,  or  of  the  low 
entrance,  the  two  principal  characteristics  of  the  Grotto. 

216  BOOK   OF   THE   CAPRI 

Parrino  ,  ( "  Nuova  Guida  dei  Forestieri  ") ,  has  the 
following  passage;  "  Delle  spelonche  una  ve  ne  resta  , 
che  ha  I'entrata  molto  oscura ,  ma  in  lucido  seno  per 
la  riflessione  dell'acqua  termina  molto  dilettevole  "  :  it 
is  however  certain  that  Parrino  never  himself  visited 
Capri,  and  merely  copied  Capaccio's  account. 

Neither  Secondo,  Romanelli,  Breislak,  Rezzonico, 
or  Hadrava  make  the  slightest  reference  to  the  Blue 
Grotto.  In  an  interesting  pamphlet  (dated  March  23 
1828)  the  archeologist  Feola  describes  the  steps  that 
lead  to  the  sea  close  to  the  mouth  of  the  Blue  Grotto, 
but  says  not  a  word  of  the  Grotto  itself.  The  manu- 
script of  Mangoni's  "  Ricerche  Topografiche  "  dated 
Capri,  Feb.  1831,  contains  not  a  single  reference  to  the 
Blue  Grotto. 

From  negative  we  pass  to  positive  evidence,  as  to 
the  real  discoverer  of  the  Grotto.  The  Grotto  was 
certainly  known  to  Angelo  Ferraro,  a  Capri  fisherman, 
and  possibly  to  many  another  Capri  mariner.  The 
Neapolitan  "  Poliorama  Pittoresco  ",  in  an  article  en- 
titled, "  Angelo  Ferraro,  detto  il  Riccio,  ",  gives  a  por- 
trait of  him,  and  fixes  the  date  of  his  discovery  of  the 
Blue  Grotto  for  the  16th  May  1822.  This  opinion  is 
further  confirmed  by  the  following  extract  from  the  Ar 
chives  of  Naples. 

BLUE     GROTTO  217 

CoNsiGLio    Genrrale    degli    Ospizii    della    Provincia 
Di  Napoli. 

26  Marzo,  1845. 


II  marinaio  Angelo  Ferraro,  scopritore  della  Grotta 
Azzurra  in  Capri,  che  tra  le  momentanee  sovvenzioni 
ottenute  da  S.  M.  il  Ministro  della  Polizia  per  aver  con- 
tribuito  alia  celebrita  della  sua  patria,  fu  abilitato  al 
triplo  turno  tra  gli  altri  marinai  che  conducono  i  cu- 
riosi  di  naturali  fenomeni  a  visitare  quel  sito,  privo  or- 
mai  di  vigoria  per  la  sua  eta  avanzata,  ed  inabile  a 
trar  profitto  di  tale  abilitazione,  nonche  ridotto  alia 
estrema  indigenza,  ha  mosso  il  sotto-intendente  di  Ca- 
stellammare  a  promuovere  a  di  lui  favore  un  mensuale 
sussidio  di  carlini  trenta,  da  gravitare  per  carlini  diciotto 
al  mese  sulla  beneficenza  di  Capri  e  per  gli  altri  carlini 
dodici  sulla  beneficenza  di  Anacapri. 

A  me  sembra  che  meriti  il  nominato  individuo  la 
considerazione  proposta,  pel  riflesso  non  solo  che  gli 
ottenne  fin  dapprima  dei  riguardi,  e  per  un  principio 
di  pieta  a  causa  della  sua  indigenza,  ma  pel  motivo 
ancora  dell'utile  che  la  scoverta  fatta  dal  suo  coraggio 
ha  procurata  alia  infelice  classe  dei  marinai,  e  special- 
mente  ai  suoi  compatriotti,  e  perche  attesa  la  sua  eta 

218  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

inoltrata  non    dara  luogo    per   lungo    tempo  a  questa 
gravezza  per  le  due  amministrazioni  dinanzi  dette. 

Mi   onoro    quindi    di    rassegnare   la   proposizione 
alia  E.  V.  per  le  superiori  sue  determinazioni. 

Per  l'  Intendente  Presidente, 
//  Consigliere, 

(signed)  Canonico  Carbonelli 

As  the  first  intelligent  foreigner,  who  since  Roman 
times,  entered  the  Blue  Grotto,  described  its  wondrous 
colour  charms ,  reintroduced  it  to  the  great  world 
outside  Capri,  and  conferred  upon  it  its  present  name 
of  Blue  Grotto,  the  honour  in  our  opinion  belongs  to 
August  Kopisch.  On  August  17  1826  Kopisch  ,  a 
painter  of  Breslau,  entered  the  Grotto,  accompanied  by 
his  friend  Ernst  Fries,  also  a  painter  and  a  pupil  of 
of  Rottmann,  and  Giuseppe  Pagano.  The  curious  may 
consult  the  autograph  record  of  Kopish's  exploit  pre- 
served in  Pagano's  Hotel. 

In  1838  Kopisch  published  his  "  Entdeckung  der 
Blauen  Grotte  ^  which  has  siuce  been  republished.  An 
interesting  account  of  the  legends  connected  with  the 
Blue  Grotto,  and  the  adventures  of  Kopisch  and  his 
companions  during  their  now  famous  exploration,  which 
is  an  abbreviation  and  adaptation  of  Kopisch's  account, 
may  be  found  in  Part,  ill.  Chap.  VI. 

For  the  following  authorities,  who  refer  to  the  Blue 
Grotto,  I  am  largely  indebted  to  Mr.  Norman  Doug- 
lass', *  Blue  Grotto  and  its  Literature  \  Among  the 
earliest  accounts  of  the  Blue  Grotto  may  be  mentioned 
that  contained  in  a  letter  of  the  composer  Mendelssohn 

BLUE     GROTTO  219 

to  his  sisters,  dated  May  28,  1831:  the  account  of  Ma- 
rianna  Starke,  "  Voyages  historiques  et  h'tteraires  en 
Itah'e  ".  A  pamphlet  of  Marchese  di  San  Tommaso 
"  La  Grotta  Azzurra  ",  1840.  "  Poh'orama  Pittoresco  *, 
"  Angelo  Ferraro  detto  il  Riccio  ',  1841.  Chevalley 
di  Rivaz  "  Voyages  de  Naples  et  a  Paestum  "  1846. 
Quattromani,  and  Pietro  Martorana  *  Notizie  biogra- 
fiche  e  bibliografiche  degli  scrittori  del  dialetto  Napoli- 
tano  ",  1874. 

Among  so  many  descriptions  of  the  Blue  Grotto 
poetic,  fantastic,  tedious  and  copious,  it  is  not  easy  to 
make  choice.  1  have  however  decided  to  quote  at 
length  two  passages,  the  first  from  the  brilliant  pen  of  A. 
Dumas  pere,  and  the  second  from  that  king  of  phantasy 
Hans  Andersen. 

"  J'avais  devant  moi,  autour-moi,  et  derriere  moi, 
des  merveilles  dont  aucume  description  ne  pourrait 
donner  I'idee,  et  devant  lesquelles  le  pinceau  lui-me- 
me,  ce  grand  traducteur  des  souvenirs  humains  de- 
meure  impuisant.  Qu'on  se  figure  une  immense  ca- 
verne  toute  d'azure,  comme  si  Dieu  s'etait  amuse  a 
faire  une  tente  avec  quelque  reste  du  firmament,  une 
eau  si  limpide,  si  transparent,  si  pure,  qu'on  semblait 
flotter  sur  de  I'air  epaisi:  au  plafond,  des  stalactites 
pendantes  comme  des  pyramides  renversees:  au  fond 
un  sable  d'or  mele  de  vegetation  sous-marines:  le  long 
des  parois  qui  se  baignent  dans  I'eau,  des  pousses  de 
corale  aux  branches  capricieuses  et  eclatantes:  du  cote 
de  la  mer  un  point,  une  etoile  par  lesquel  entre  le 
demi-jour  qui  eclaire  ce  palais  de  fee:  enfin  a  I'extre- 
mite  oppossee,  une  espece  d'estrade  menagee  comme 
le  trone  de  la  sompteuse  deesse   qui  a  choisi  pour  sa 

220  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

salle  de  bains  Tune  des    mervellles  du  monde  ".  ("  Le 
Speronare  "). 

The  following  dainty  fairy-like  suggestion  is  from 
"  Ths  Improvisatore  "  of  Hans  Andersen.  "  The  rower 
took  in  his  oars:  we  were  obliged  to  lie  down  in  the 
boat,  which  he  guided  with  his  hands,  and  we  glided 
into  a  dark  recess  beneath  the  stupendous  rocks  which 
are  washed  by  the  great  Mediterranean.  Instantly  we 
were  in  a  vast  vault,  where  all  gleamed  like  ether.  The 
water  below  was  like  a  blue-burning  fire,  lighting  up 
the  whole.  All  around  was  closed  in:  but,  benealh  the 
water,  the  little  opening  by  which  we  entered  prolonged 
itself  almost  to  the  bottom  of  the  sea,  forty  fathoms 
in  depth,  and  expanded  itself  to  about  the  same  width. 
Thus  the  powerful  sunshine  outside  threw  a  reflected 
light  upon  the  floor  of  the  grotto,  and  streaming  in 
now  like  fire  through  the  blue  water,  seemed  to  change 
it  into  burning  spirit.  Everything  gave  back  the  reflec- 
tion: the  rocky  arch — all  seemed  as  if  formed  of  con- 
solidated air,  and  to  dissolve  away  into  it.  The  drops 
of  spray  tossed  up  by  the  movement  of  the  oars  , 
fell  red,   like  fresh  rose  leaves.     It  was  a  fairy  world  ". 

Cave  of  Mithras. 

The  cave  of  Mithras  is  to  be  found  in  the  plain  of 
Matromania  ,  (on  the  south  side  of  the  island)  which 
is  bounded  on  the  west  by  the  hill  of  Tuoro  Grande 
(now  commonly  called  the  Telegrafo)  and  on  the  east 
by  the  Tuoro  Piccola.  The  entrance  to  the  cave  can 
best  be  seen  by  looking  up  from  the  Cala  di  Matromania, 
but  the  approach  must  be  made  by  means  of  a  long 
flight  of  very  ancient  steps,  which  lead  down  to  it  from 
the  path  which  goes  to  the  Arco  Naturale.  There  is 
no  spot  on  the  island  which  appeals  so  strongly  to  the 
imagination  of  the  spectator :  the  peculiar  remoteness 
and  loneliness  of  the  spot,  its  freedom  from  intrusion, 
the  magnificient  view  to  be  obtained  from  the  Grotto, 
embracing  the  Cape  of  Minerva ,  the  outlines  of  the 
heights  of  the  Surrentine  peninsula ,  the  islands  of  the 
Sirens ,  and  still  farther  off  on  the  blue  hazy  horizon 
the  temple  of  Pesto:  the  appearance  of  extraordinary 
antiquity  of  the  few  surviving  remnants  of  masonry , 
while  *  all  around  a  luxuriant  vegetation  grows  out  of 
the  damp  and  fragrant  humus,  and  a  refreshing  coolness 
welcomes  us.  A  peculiar  sense  of  enchantment  has 
its  home  here  ,  an  almost  fearsome  sense  of   solitude 


and  silence ,  which  is  only  broken  in  upon  by  the 
monotonous  dripping  of  the  water  in  the  cavern  ". 
(Weichardt,  p.  85). 

The  imagination  is  fired,  and  teeming  thoughts  set 
loose ;  thoughts  full  of  infinite  suggestion,  thoughts  and 
phantasies  all  the  more  fascinating  because  of  their 
supreme  vagueness  and  uncertainty.  Here,  at  least,  no 
rigid,  exacting  scientist  can  either  crush  or  condemn 
our  flights  of  fancy :  we  are  free  as  the  birds  to  picture 
what  we  will ,  and  with  boundless  fields  of  thought 
around  us,  there  is  no  logical  limit  to  our  irresponsible 

In  regard  to  the  meaning  and  derivation  of  the 
word  Matromania,  Sign  Secondo  was  of  opinion,  that, 
it  is  derived  from  Ara  Matris  Magnae,  or  Matris  Manium; 
and  that  here  once  stood  a  temple  built  by  Augustus, 
in  honour  of  Cybele ;  he  bases  this  opinion  upon  the 
fact  that,  from  time  to  time,  many  sepulchres  have  been 
discovered  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Grotto,  and  also,  from 
the  inscription  carved  on  the  tomb  of  the  Greek  Upatos, 
which  will  be  referred  to  at  greater  length  at  the  end 
of  this  chapter.  Conte  Rezzonico  derives  the  name 
from  Magnum  Mithrae  antrum  ,  and  decides  in  favour 
of  the  cave  having  been  dedicated  to  the  worship  of 
Mithras.  Feola  and  all  later  writers,  agree  in  supposing 
that,  in  this  remote  Grotto  were  practised  the  secret 
mysterious  rites  of  Mithras. 

The  celebrated  Mithraic  bas-relief,  which  is  now  in 
the  National  Museum  of  Naples ,  was  found  by  Dr. 
Giraldi  about  1775.  A  narrative  of  his  excavations  and 
discoveries,  and  especially  an  account  of  the  Flora  of 
Capri,  was  written  by  Dr.  Giraldi,    and    is   quoted  by 

f  C   C  t   c 
■  C    r   €  € 

■€  t' 

c      « 

tcctc       cc««« 

^*  *  c  • 
*  ac  c 


Mangoni :  this  interesting  MS.  has  unfortunately  disap- 
peared. The  dimensions  of  the  bas-relief  are  3  feet  in 
length  by  2  V2  in  breadth  ,  and  represents  the  god 
Mithras ,  adorned  with  a  Phrygian  cap  ,  in  the  act  of 
sacrificing  a  bull ;  the  central  figure  is  surrounded  by 
the  usual  Mithraic  symbols :  two  youths  to  right  and 
left  respectively,  one  raising,  and  the  other  lowering  a 
torch,  symbolise  Life  and  Death.  (Romanelli:  p.  39, 
and  note  K.  p.  91).  This  extreemly  interesting  Mithraic 
bas-relief  ,  was  given  by  Dr.  Gennaro  Arcucci  to 
Ferdinand  1.  of  Naples ,  and  is  now  preserved  in  the 
Naples  Museum. 

Hadrava,  considers  that,  this  temple  was  dedicated 
to  Cybele,  and  observes  (Letter  XXIX)  that,  an  altar 
dedicated  to  that  goddess  was  discovered  in  the  cave 
of  Mithras,  and  states  that  it  is  now  in  the  British 
Museum.  Mangoni  quoting  Hadrava,  repeats  the  same 
story.  (Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  111).  As  a  matter  of  fact, 
no  such  altar  exists  in  the  British  Museum,  and  I  can 
learn  nothing  further  of  its  history,  or  destination. 

Dr.  I.  Cerio  in  his  Note  to  Feola,  (Chap.  IX,)  says 
that ,  he  saw  some  years  ago ,  a  beautiful  terra-cotta 
statuette ,  (about  eight  inches  in  height) ,  of  a  figure 
wearing  a  Phrygian  cap,  which  was  found  in  the  grotto. 

Feola  thus  describes  the  temple;  "  The  temple  at 
present  consists  of  a  wide  and  dark  cave  carved  out 
of  the  hard  rock  by  nature.  Its  shape  is  an  exact 
oval,  provided  with  two  openings ,  one  towards  the 
south,  which  admits  the  chief  light,  and  the  other 
smaller  one  to  the  east,  which  serves  as  an  entrance. 
The  length  from  the  back  to  the  southern  opening  is 
about  ninety  feet ,  and  the  breadth  is  sixty   feet.    The 

224  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

height  of  the  vault  is  very  irregular.  There  are  still 
remains  in  the  Grotto  of  ancient  masonry  of  the  Roman 
style,  similar  to  that  found  in  the  Imperial  Villas,  not 
only  in  form,  but  in  the  material  used,  it  has  in  the 
interior  some  walls  constructed  of  volcanic  rock  from 
Herculaneum,  and  the  outer  wall  is  faced  with  reticulated 
tufa  of  Posilipo  ".    (Feola,  Chap.  IX). 

"  The  perfect  "  opus  reticulatum  "  is  an  evidence 
that,  the  construction  is  of  the  early  imperial  times. 
As  the  worship  of  the  Persian  Sun  God  was  introduced 
into  Italy  before  the  time  of  Pompey,  it  may  be  possible 
that,  this  Grotto  was  intended  to  serve  as  a  sanctuary 
of  Mithras  from  the  first :  on  the  other  hand  ,  it  may 
be  that  it  originally  belonged  to  the  Augustan  and 
Tiberian  constructions  and  was  used  at  a  later  period 
for  those  religious  rites.  In  the  former  case  it  would 
be  one  of  the  earliest  Mithras  sanctuaries  in  Italy  ". 
(Schoener,  Chap.  VI). 

"  The  material  for  the  "  opus  reticulatum  "  consists 
of  large  wedge-shaped  pieces  of  limestone ,  gray  tufa 
from  Sorrento  and  yellow  tufa  from  Posilipo.  In  the 
apse,  which  is  probably  of  a  later  date ,  we  see  brick 
shaped  pieces  of  tufa ,  and  burnt  bricks  have  been 
used  for  the  entrance  pillars,  which  also  seen  to  belong 
to  a  later  period  \  (Schoener,  Chap.  VI).  The  sides 
of  the  Grotto  are  constructed  of  solid  masonry  ,  and 
one  can  observe  where  the  arches  sprang ,  which 
supported  the  vault  of  the  roof.  ""  The  architectonic 
form  produced  by  a  barrel  roof,  conjointly  with  the 
apse,  leads  to  the  inference  that,  a  sort  of  facade 
stood  at  the  front  of  the  Grotto  \  C  Capri  \  Weichardt, 
p.  86). 


Dr.  I.  Cerio  in  his  Note  to  Feola  (Chap.  IX,)  says ; 
"  From  other  investigations  made  in  the  Grotto,  one 
can  estabh'sh  the  fact  that  the  vault  and  walls  were 
adorned  with  glass  mosaic  of  various  colours,  while  the 
semicircle  at  the  back  of  the  Grotto,  and  perhaps  the 
plinth,  was  covered  with  encrustations  of  carbonate  of 
lime  ^ 

Mackowen  says;  "  a  semicircular  wall  runs  round 
the  cave,  above  this  and  a  few  feet  back  of  it,  runs 
another  wall  parallel  to  the  first:  in  the  middle,  a  flight 
of  steps  leads  from  the  floor  to  the  tops  of  these  semi- 
circular walls ,  and  then  leads  up  to  what  was  prob- 
ably, the  "  holy  of  holies  ",  of  the  temple  *.  (Mac- 
kowen, p.  180). 

Dr.  James  Roane,  of  Washington  D.  C,  has  most 
kindly  placed  at  my  disposal  his  notes,  made  after  a 
personal  examination  of  the  Grotto,  his  object  being  to 
prove  the  inclination  of  the  sun's  rays  within  the  Cave 
of  Mithras  at  the  equinox.  "  in  descriptions  and  com- 
ments of  the  Grotto  of  Mithras,  various  writers  have 
stated  that,  in  the  back  of  the  Grotto,  above  the  two 
raised  platforms,  and  considerably  to  the  right  of  their 
centre,  there  is  to  be  observed  a  depression  in  the  rear 
wall,  which  in  former  times  was  probably  a  niche  for 
the  statue  of  Mithras.  The  awkard  position  of  this  niche 
with  reference  to  the  symmetry  of  tlie  interior,  they 
explain  by  saying  that,  it  was  so  constructed  that  it 
might  receive  the  first  rays  of  the  rising  sun  at  equi- 
noctial periods  —  the  very  pretty  idea  being  that,  as 
Mithras  was  the  Sun-God,  and  as  peculiar  significance 
was  attached  to  equinoctial  periods,  the  statue  of  the 
god  was  so  placed  in  the  cavern,  that  the  first  rays  of 


226  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

rising  sun  at  each  of  these  periods,  would  fall  full  upon 
it.  An  investigation  of  this  statement  made  on  Sept. 
21st.  1903  proved  conclusively  its  falsity.  The  rays  of 
the  rising  sun  falling  very  much  nearer  the  entrance  of 
the  Grotto,  than  on  the  depression  above  mentioned. 
And  further,  the  highest  point  reached  by  the  sun's  rays 
was  considerably  lower  than  the  very  lowest  portion  of 
the  niche.  It  must  be  admitted  however  that,  in  former 
times  when  the  island  stood  some  15  or  20  feet  higher 
out  of  the  water  than  at  the  present  day,  the  altitude 
then  reached  by  the  sun's  rays  into  the  Grotto,  was 
considerably  greater  than  at  present ;  but  the  vertical 
line,  where  they  first  appeared,  was  the  same  then,  as 
it  is  now    ". 

Weichardt,  though  ready  to  admit  that  it  is  highly 
probable  that  a  temple  of  Mithras  existed  here,  thinks 
it  improbable  that  during  the  days  of  the  first  Roman 
Emperors,  it  was  used  for  this  purpose.  He  inclines  to 
think  that,  the  Grotto  was  rather  used  as  a  theatre ; 
"  The  first  impression  produced  by  the  interior  of  the 
cavern,  after  we  have  overcome  the  gruesome  feeling 
due  to  the  solitude  of  the  place;  is  that  the  *  genius 
loci  '  is  not  the  Persian  sun-god,  but  rather  a  lustful 
faun,  for  the  semicircular  rows  of  seats  are  more  in 
harmony  with  the  interior  of  a  small  theatre,  than  with 
that  of  a  temple.  To  use  a  somewhat  unsophisticated 
simile,  we  probably  have  here  before  us  a  sort  of  Roman 
speciality  theatre,  the  programme  of  which  was  mostly 
confined  to  erotic  representations  ".  ("  Capri  ".  Wei- 
chardt, p.  88).  "  The  position  of  our  cavern  thus  fa- 
cing full  east,  the  discovery  of  a  Mithras-relievo  ,  of 
remains  of  columns  and  marble  slabs,   of   an  altar  of 


white  marble  (as  mentioned  by  Hadrava),  renders  the 
assumption  that  a  temple  to  Mithras  existed  here  highly 
credible;  but  it  is  very  improbable  that,  in  the  days  of 
the  first  Roman  emperors  here — on  their  private  pro- 
perty —  such  a  temple  could  have  existed ;  for,  like  the 
Isis  cult,  that  of  Mithras  was  then  interdicted,  and  only 
silently  tolerated  in  the  provincial  towns.  In  Rome  it 
was  totally  forbidden,  and  no  one  would  have  ventured 
to  carry  on  the  secret  worship  of  Mithras,  on  the  little 
island,  so  to  say,  right  under  the  eyes  of  the  Emperor  \ 
(Weichardt,  p.  87). 

To  sum  up  then  our  conclusions,  from  the  data 
from  which  we  have  quoted,  we  may  assume,  from 
the  evidence  of  the  masonry  in  the  Grotto  that,  it  was 
used  for  some  purpose  during  the  period  of  the  early 
Roman  Emperors:  what  purpose  is  however,  shrouded 
in  obscurity  and  uncertainty.  We  may  further  assume 
with  some  probability  that  at  a  later  period,  the  Grotto 
was  adapted  to  the  service  of  Mithras.  The  Mithras 
cult  was  specially  cultivated  and  held  in  reverence  by 
sailors,  and  the  people  of  the  Orient,  the  home  of  its 
origin,  and  we  well  know  that  the  greater  part  of  the 
immense  grain  traffic  of  the  Roman  Empire,  for  the 
supply  of  the  city  of  Rome,  passed  by  the  island  of 
Capri  on  its  way  to  Pozzuoli.  We  are  further  aware 
that,  the  grain  trade  was  largely  in  the  hands  of  Egyp- 
tian merchants,  and  that  a  considerable  colony  of  these 
merchants  had  established  themselves  at  Pozzuoli.  How 
natural  and  convenient  a  spot  then,  would  this  be  for 
a  temple  of  Mithras  for  the  outgoing  sailor  to  offer 
prayers  for  a  safe  and  prosperous  voyage;  and  for  the 

228  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

returning  mariner  to  render  thanks  for  a  safe  deliver- 
ance from  the  dangers  through  which  he  had  passed. 

On  or  near  t!ie  Grotto,  was  found  a  marble  slab 
having  a  metrical  Greek  epitaph,  which  was  translated 
into  Latin  by  the  learned  Matteo  Egizio,  who  had  be- 
come possessed  of  it.  He  presented  it  to  the  Library 
of  the  Fathers  of  the  Oratory  of  St.  Philip  at  Naples: 
here  it  was  seen  by  Signor  Martorelli,  who  corrected 
the  translation,  and  in  his  "  Theca  "  greatly  praised 
the  epitaph  for  the  elegance  of  its  style.  (Mang.,  Ric. 
Top.  p.  111). 

I  will  here  add  the  graceful  translation  made  by 
Allan  Walters; 

"  Dread  powers,  in  murky  Stygian  shores  who  roam 

Thrice  wretched,  me  receive  into  your  home: 

Me  snatched  ere  life's  allotted  race  is  sped. 

By  death  resistless,  swift,  unmerited. 

The  hand  that  me  with  ample  honours  crowned 

Hath  dealt  to  sire  and  son  this  hopeless  wound. 

Ere  thrice  five  years  their  finished  course  have  run, 

I,  hapless  child  of  sorrow,  leave  the  sun. 

My  name  is  Hypatus  —  dear  brother  mine, 

And  weeping  sire,  I  bid  ye  not  repine  ". 

Orotta  Arsenate. 

This  Grotto  whfch  is  to  be  found  on  the  south 
side  of  the  Island  and  almost  immediately  beneath 
the  Grotto  Castiglione,  can  best  be  reached  by  boat 
from  the  Piccola  Marina.  The  Grotto  itself  consists 
**  of  a  deep  and  regular  incision  in  the  hard  limestone 
rock,  the  vault  above  resembling  a  perfect  tortoise  in 
shape  ".  (Feola.  Chap.  IV).  The  Grotto  is  approach- 
ed by  an  inclined  plane  sloping  gradually  towards  the 
entrance:  this  is  evidently  artificial,  the  mortar  being  com- 
posed of  pebbles  and  scraps  of  brick  mixed  with  lime. 
This  inclined  plane  was  constructed  to  facilitate  the 
ascent  and  descent  of  boats.  According  to  Feola  the 
length  of  the  Grotto  is  133  feet,  breadth  104,  and 
height  nearly  50  feet.  (Feola.  Chap.  IV).  The  Grotto 
was  according  to  Feola  and  Mangoni  used  by  the 
Romans  as  a  place  for  preserving  naval  stores,  making 
oars  and  sails ,  and  for  repairing  their  boats ,  and 
launching  them.  The  Roman  floor  is  covered  with 
sand  and  stones,  which  have  been  dashed  up  by  the 
sea,  or  fallen  from  the  top  of  the  Grotto  to  a  depth 
of  3  or  4  feet:  however  the  original  floor  can  be  seen. 

230  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

and  is  composed  of  concrete  made  by  mixing  volcanic 
cinders  and  broken  pieces  of  pottery  with  lime. 

On  the  right  of  the  Grotto  is  to  be  observed 
some  masonry  formed  of  the  volcanic  red  tufa  of 
Herculaneum,  this  cavity  was  probably  used  as  an  inner 
store,  or  special  workshop.  On  the  left  and  at  the 
back  are  to  be  seen  two  chambers  in  which  were 
discovered  pavements.  Dr.  1.  Cerio  in  his  Note  to 
Feola,  (Chap  IV,)  says;  "  In  1879  certain  excavations 
were  made  in  this  Grotto  and  at  about  one  metre 
in  depth,  under  the  rubble  and  masses  of  rock,  which 
having  fallen  from  the  vault,  had  accumulated  for  cen- 
turies, were  found  the  remains  of  a  rich  pavement  , 
made  of  *  rosso  antico  "  and  arranged  in  the  form 
of  a  square ,  inside  which  were  enclosed  alternately 
smaller  squares  of  gray  and  black  marble.  On  the 
right  of  this  cave  was  found,  still  in  position,  a  broad 
threshold  of  white  marble.  Mosaics  of  variously 
coloured  glass  were  also  discovered  in  such  quantity  as 
to  lead  to  the  opinion  that,  the  sides  of  the  Grotto 
and  vault  were  originally  entirely  covered  with  them.  At 
the  bottom  of  the  Grotto  was  found  a  large  and  most 
precious  fragment  of  a  dish  or  plate  in  opalescent 
blue  glass,  with  fish  drawn  in  relief  with  white  cement, 
and  is  now  preserved  in  the  Metropolitan  Museum 
of  Art  of  New  York.  The  workmanship  of  this  plate 
is  similar  to  that  of  the  celebrated  Portland  vase,  and 
to  that  found  in  a  tomb  at  Pompeii  in  1837,  and  now 
preserved  in  the  Museum  of  Naples.  In  the  times  of 
Augustus  and  Tiberius  this  place  must  have  been  used 
as  a  temple,  or  large  bathing-place;  the  second  pave- 
ment about  a  metre   above   the  first   or   original  one. 


was  of  later  work,  and  was  probably  made  when  this 
place  was  applied  to   other  purposes  ". 

Weichardt  says ;  **  It  is  still  known  as  the  *  Grotta 
dell'Arsenale  "  and  was  probably  used  in  the  days  of  an- 
tiquity as  a  yard  for  the  repairing  of  small  vessels. 
The  walls  thereof  seem  to  have  been  entirely  faced 
with  masonry,  on  account  of  the  dripping  water.  At 
all  events,  remains  of  masonry  are  found  on  the  walls, 
as  also  traces  of  a  small  chamber,  which  was  possibly 
used  by-  the  attendant  watchman,  it  is  very  probable 
that  this  grotto  was  used  as  shipwright's  yard  ,  as 
both  to  right  and  left  ,  at  a  very  slight  distance 
therefrom  there  is  found,  a  landing  place,  namely  behind 
the  Faraglioni  on  the  Tragara  Foreland,  and  on  the 
"  little  marina  ".    (Weichardt.  Capri  p.  44). 

On  the  left  side  are  to  be  observed  in  the  face  of 
the  cave,  and  at  a  convenient  height,  six  holes,  each 
20  inches  square,  at  equal  distance  apart,  and  covered 
inside  with  very  hard  mortar.  These  holes  correspond 
with  an  equal  number  on  the  opposite  side,  and  at  the 
same  height,  though  only  three  now  survive,  the  re- 
mainder having  been  destroyed  by  a  fall  of  the  rock. 
One  may  presume  that  the  object  of  these  holes  was 
to  receive  huge  beams,  so  that  the  Grotto  could  be 
divided  into  two  parts.  (Mang.  Ric.  Top.  p.  140), 
or  to  support  an  awning  to  preserve  the  naval  store 
from  the  dripping  of  water,  or  falling  rock.  (Mac- 
kowen.  p.  171). 

Immediately  to  the  right  of  the  principal  Grotto,  a 
smaller  cave  of  the  same  character  should  be  observed, 
inside  which  one  may  recognise  Roman  masonry  of 
Herculaneum  tufa,  consisting   of  elevations  which  may 

232  THE    BOOK    OF    CAPRI 

have  served  as  workbenches,  on  which  could  be  ex- 
ecuted such  small  repairs  as  are  always  necessary  in 
refitting  boats.  Traces  of  reticulated  tufa  of  Posilippo 
are  to  be  seen  attached  to  the  rocks  just  under  the 
surface  of  the  sea,  which  were  undoubtedly  part  of  the 
inclined  plane  for  launching  boats,  long  since  destroyed, 
(Feola.  Chap.  IV). 

.  About  the  year  1777  an  iron  tool  used  for  ship- 
building, or  as  others  think,  a  portion  of  a  Roman 
galley,  was  discovered,  and  sold  to  Dr.  Giraldi.  (Mac- 
kowen  p.  172). 

Grotto  Castiglione. 

On  the  south  side  of  the  Castiglione  there  is  an 
immense  Grotto ,  which  is  certainly  the  largest  on  the 
island  and  is  well  worth  a  visit.  The  path  though 
steep ,  and  in  dry  weather  slippery ,  is  not  dangerous 
or  inaccessible  to  the  ordinary  pedestrian  ,  the  rugged 
broken  steps  being  protected  at  the  most  threatening 
points  by  a  wire  rope.  Like  similar  caves  on  the  island, 
the  Grotto  is  wide  open  towards  the  sea,  and  can  only 
be  seen  from  that  direction.  A  fairly  plausible  legend 
exists,  for  which  however  I  can  quote  no  authority , 
that  during  the  Saracenic  raids  in  the  middle  ages,  the 
panic-stricken  islanders  sought,  and  found  refuge  here, 
and  certainly,  provided  they  had  a  sufficient  supply  of 
food  and  water,  no  more  suitable  spot  could  have  been 

In  the  following  graphic  passage,  Hadrava  relates 
how  the  engineer  Santo,  the  director  of  his  excavations 
descended  from  above  into  the  Grotto ;  "  I  cannot  omit 
describing  the  courage  of  the  engineer  Santo,  who  was 
inspired  by  a  vague  tradition  related  by  the  monks , 
that  under  the  Castle  was  a  Grotto ,  which  was  very 
deep  and  most  dangerous  to  enter.    It  was   said   that 

234  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

a  peasant,  who  happened  on  one  occasion  to  descend 
to  the  Grotto  found  there  a  tablet  of  precious  marble 
of  great  size.  Santo  being  animated  by  these  and  similar 
reports,  resolved  to  visit  the  Grotto,  in  spite  of  all  the 
protests  which  the  Governor  and  1  made  to  him ,  not 
to  risk  his  life.  Accordingly  Santo  with  one  islander, 
who  was  to  act  as  guide,  undertook  this  perilous 
expedition.  The  islanders  are  accustomed  to  scramble 
over  the  rocks  like  cats,  and  often  when  quail  hunting, 
venture  with  their  nets  over  the  most  perilous  cliffs , 
for  the  sake  of  a  single  bird.  The  guide  of  the 
engineer  who  was  sure  of  gaining  the  value  of  a 
hundred  quail ,  took  courage ,  and  showed  him  the 
spots  where  he  should  put  his  feet.  For  the  first 
fifteen  feet  all  went  well.  About  half  way  up  ,  not 
finding  any  support,  and  seeing  beneath  them  a  horrible 
precipice,  they  made  every  effort  to  clutch  to  the  rock 
with  hand  and  foot  ,  and  to  lower  themselves  by 
degrees  by  the  bushes ,  but  with  imminent  danger , 
because  if  a  bush  broke,  or  a  rock  fell,  both  of  them 
would  certainly  have  perished.  Seeing  death  beneath 
them  ,  they  arrived  covered  with  wounds  at  the  foot 
of  the  grotto.  There  they  had  to  rest  in  order  to 
regain  their  strength  for  the  dangerous  return  journey. 
In  the  meantime  the  engineer  examined  the  Grotto , 
and  found  nothing  to  verify  the  reports  of  the  monks. 
He  made  an  exact  sketch  of  the  Grotto,  and  took  away 
some  small  pieces  of  the  stalactites  with  which  it  was 
filled  :  these  stalactites  being  probably  what  the  first 
islander  supposed  was  precious  marble.  Santo  was 
anxious  to  avoid  spending  the  night  there,  not  knowing 
what  animals  might  be  hidden  in  the   cave ,    or   what 


noxious  vapours  might  poison  it ,  and  knowing  how 
much  time  was  necessary  to  return  to  the  top.  Besides 
this  the  setting  sun  obscured  the  grotto  and  rendered 
the  return  journey  more  perilous.  Accordingly  he 
rekindled  his  daring,  and  after  three  hours  incredible 
suffering,  scrambling  with  as  much  danger  as  before , 
they  emerged  at  the  top ,  with  their  hands  and  feet 
covered  with  blood  \     (Hadrava,  Let.  XXI). 

The  best  modern  account  of  the  Grotto  is  given 
by  Dr.  Schoener ; "  The  height  of  the  Grotto  is  much 
greater  than  its  breadth,  and  spacious  enough  to  give 
shelter  to  several  hundred  people.  The  roof  is  covered 
with  numerous  stalactites.  The  floor,  sloping  down 
steeply  at  the  entrance,  becomes  somewhat  level  towards 
the  rear.  Near  the  east  wall  a  small  stone  watch- 
tower  with  loop-holes,  guards  the  entrance.  A  good 
many  shapeless,  but  compact  remains  of  rubble  stone 
substructions  are  to  be  seen  in  the  centre  of  the  Grotto, 
and  a  few  unmistakeable  remains  of  walls ,  with  a 
coating  of  "  opus  reticulatum  "  in  the  best  style,  can 
be  observed  in  the  back  part  of  the  Grotto.  There  is 
also  at  the  west  end  near  the  entrance  a  cistern  about 
twelve  feet  in  length,  now  half  filled  with  rubbish  and 
deprived  of  its  vaulting  ,  near  which  there  must  be 
another  cistern  as  a  hollow  sound  is  produced  by 
knocking  on  the  partition  wall.  In  the  direction  of  the 
extreme  rear  wall ,  which  is  still  covered  with  "  opus 
reticulatum  ",  there  is  towards  the  west  an  opening  in 
the  wall,  near  which  the  rock  appears  to  have  been 
artificially  dressed  by  the  chisel  \  (Schoener,  Chap.  Vli). 


Qrotte  dell'Arco  e  Felce. 

On  the  south  side  of  the  island  under  the  cliffs  of 
Mount  Solaro,  and  facing  the  road  leading  down  to  the 
Piccola  Marina ,  an  immense  arched  cave  has  been 
carved  by  the  hand  of  Nature  out  of  the  face  of  the  lime- 
stone rock,  and  has  been  named  by  the  islanders  Qrotta 
dell'Arco.  "  This  cavec  laims  the  attention  of  all  anti- 
quarians, naturalists,  and  geologists  on  account  of  a 
peculiar  black  shiny  substance  attached  to  the  limestone 
rock.  It  has  the  form  of  a  protuberance,  like  the  breast 
of  a  woman,  and  seems  to  have  been  at  some  anterior 
time  in  a  fluid  condition.  It  is  met  with  on  the  sides 
and  top  of  the  Grotto,  and  is  so  hard  as  to  require  a 
hammer  to  detach  it  from  the  rock  ".  (Feola  Chap  III). 
Breislak,  Professor  of  Mineorology  in  Naples,  in  a  letter 
to  Hadrava,  which  may  be  found  in  Romanelli  page  119, 
says;  "  I  saw  adhering  to  the  limestone  rock  a  sub- 
stance which    was   black   and   shining,   which   for  the 

moment  I    believed   to    be   bitumen In    order 

not  to  be  inconvenienced  by  the  pungent  odour  of  this 
substance,  I  placed  it  outside  the  house  in  which  I  was 
sleeping,  and  the  next  morning  I  found  to  my  surprise 
that   some    of  the  specimens    had   attracted    moisture 

238  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

during  the  night:    this   caused    me   to  doubt   its  being 

bitumen After  my  arrival  in  Naples  1  examined 

the  substance  more  carefully  with  my  friend  Mr.  Thom- 
son: after  analysing  it,  we  found  that  it  contained  nothing 
but  an  empyreumatic  oil,  ammonia,  and  a  residuum  of 
carbon  .......  The  substance  was  found  on  the  sur- 
face of  calcareous  rock,  forming  prutuberances  like  the 
breasts  of  a  woman,  in  other  places  elongated  and  some- 
what compressed,  as  if  it  had  a  certain  degree  of 
liquidity.     It  adhered  firmly  to  the  rock,  so  that  it  was 

necessary  to  detach  it  with  a  hammer The  taste 

is  like  that  of  tanned  shoe  leather,  and  the  odour  is 
like  that  which  may  be  met  with  in  a  closed  grotto, 
impregnated  with  the  dung  of  goats  ".  (Romanelli, 
p.  119). 

Qrotta  delle  Felce. 

As  the  visitor  faces  towards  the  sea  looking  from 
the  Grotto  dell'Arco,  he  will  perceive  on  his  right  a 
smaller  Grotto,  previously  almost  concealed  by  an  im- 
mense rock  which  has  fallen  across  the  entrance. 
From  the  roof  and  sides  of  this  smaller  Grotto  hang 
luxurious  festoons  of  maidenhair  fern,  from  which  the 
place  takes  its  name  of  the  "  Fern  Grotto  \ 

Dr.  I.  Cerio  remarks;  "  In  1882  while  occuped  in  a 
search  for  monuments  and  prehistoric  objects,  my  at- 
tention was  called  to  this  Grotto ,  which  is  a  typical 
•  abri  sous  roche  *.  At  a  little  more  than  one  metre 
in  depth  I  came  upon  a  great  quantity  of  fragments  of 
pottery,  made  without  the  use  of  the  wheel,  among 
which  are  noticeable  the  fragments  of  a  large  vase  with 

GROTTE  dell'arco  e  felce  239 

designs  deeply  marked,  and  of  graceful  form.  I  found 
a  pointed  lance  and  several  bone  knives,  one  flint  knife 
entire,  and  two  broken  ones,  a  hammer  of  basalt, 
smoothing  tools,  mallets,  and  other  objects.  Among  a 
large  quantity  of  the  bones  of  ruminant  animals,  were 
also  human  bones.  From  what  1  found  in  this  Grotto, 
which  was  not  completely  explored,  one  may  assume 
that  it  served  for  a  long  time  as  an  habitation  for  man 
in  the  neolithic  period  \  (Dr.  Cerio's  Note  to  Feola, 
Chap  III). 

'  Qrotta  Oscura  "  —  A  lost  Grotto. 

The  very  existence  of  the  Grotta  Oscura ,  which 
prior  to  1808  was  known  to  all  visitors  to  Capri,  had 
well  night  passed  into  oblivion  ,  and  its  recrudescence 
is  due  to  an  interesting  pamphlet  "  The  Blue  Grotto 
and  its  Literature  ",  (Adams  Bros,  1904),  written  by  Mr 
Norman  Donglass.  Mr  Douglass  proves  very  conclusive- 
ly, that  the  occasional  references  by  early  writers  to 
the  Grotta  Oscura ,  have  been  confounded  with  the 
Blue  Grotto ,  which  he  maintains  was  not  mentioned 
by  any  writer  prior  to  1830. 

It  is  matter  of  very  considerable  interest  to  learn 
from  numerous  authorities,  (to  whom  further  reference 
will  be  made) ,  that  until  1808  a  large  and  important 
Grotto  existed  on  the  south  side  of  the  island,  a  little 
to  the  east  of  the  Certosa.  This  Grotto  was  the 
largest  of  the  many  Grottos  then  known:  it  was  oval 
in  shape,  the  entrance  was  low  and  narrow,  and  water 
was  constantly  dripping  from  the  roof.  Until  the 
Grotta  Oscura  was  destroyed  by  a  landslip,  it  appears 
to  have  been  the  principal  attraction,  and  to  have  been 
visited  by  all  strangers,  who  came  to  Capri.  In  1808 
it  disappeared,  and  from  that  year  till  1826  Capri  was 


242  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

grotto-less ,  and  would  doubtless  have  remained  an 
obscure  and  unremembered  island ,  had  not  August 
Kopisch  fortunately  rediscovered,  and  exploited  the  now 
world-famous  Blue  Grotto. 

The  Grotta  Oscura  is  mentioned  by  N.  P.  Gian- 
netasio  "  Autumni  Surrentini  "  published  in  1698,  and 
again  by  Serafino  Montorio  "  Zodiaco  di  Maria  Santis- 
sima  "  1715.  The  fullest  and  most  interesting  description 
of  the  Grotto  is  from  the  pen  of  Joseph  Addison, 
"  Remarks  on  Several  Parts  of  Italy  in  the  year  1701, 
1702  ,  and  1703  ".  "  I  entered  one  ,  which  the 
inhabitants  call  Grotta  Oscura,  and,  after  the  light  of 
the  sun  was  a  little  worn  off  my  eyes ,  could  see  all 
the  parts  of  it  distinctly  by  a  glimmering  reflection  that 
played  upon  them  from  the  surface  of  the  water.  The 
mouth  is  low  and  narrow  :  but,  after  having  entered  pretty 
far  in,  the  Grotto  opens  itself  on  both  sides  in  an  oval 
figure  of  an  hundred  yards  from  one  extremity  to  the 
other,  as  we  were  told ,  for  it  would  not  have  been 
safe  measuring  of  it.  The  roof  is  vaulted,  and  distils 
fresh  water  from  every  part,  which  fell  upon  us  as  fast 
as  the  first  drippings  of  a  shower.  The  inhabitants 
and  Neapolitans  who  have  heard  of  Tiberius'  grottos, 
will  have  this  to  be  one  of  them,  but  there  are  several 
reasons  which  show  it  to  be  natural.  For  besides  the 
little  use  that  we  can  conceive  of  such  a  dark  cavern 
of  salt  waters  there   are   nowhere   any   marks   of  the 

chisel :  the  sides  are  of  soft  mouldering  stone 

Not  far  from  this  Grotto  lie  the  '^  Sirenum  Scopuli  % 
which  Virgil  and  Ovid  mention  in  Aeneas'  voyage: 
they  are  two  or  three  sharp  rocks  that  stand  about  a 
stones's  throw  from  the  south  side  of  the  Island  \ 


A  passage  from  a  still  unpublished  manuscript 
(dated  March  23  1828),  of  the  archeologist  Feola, 
explains  the  disappearance  and  destruction  of  the  Grotto; 
"  This  Grotto ,  known  to  us  many  years  ago  as  the 
largest  of  the  many  that  lie  round  about  the  island , 
has  now  its  entrance  blocked  up.  On  enquiring  as  to 
this  change,  we  were  informed  of  an  unexpected  event 
of  the  15th  of  May  1808,  whereby  the  overlying  soil, 
on  which  was  built  a  high  and  solid  tower  of  the 
Carthusians  at  the  time  of  the  Barbary  invasions  that 
perished  simultaneously ,  fell  away  and  damaged  the 
said  Grotto  by  closing  up  its  entrance  \ 

Mangoni  also  refers  to  the  catasprophe ,  which 
robbed  Capri  of  one  of  its  chief  attractions.  (Mang. 
Ric.  Top.  p.  46).  "  On  the  eastern  side  of  the  Certosa 
there  was  built  upon  an  eminence  a  tower  for  the 
defence  of  that  monastery  that  was  of  pleasing  archi- 
tecture and  very  strong ,  and  below  it  in  the  interior 
of  the  hill  was  formerly  observed  a  very  profound  cave 
called  Grotta  Oscura.  This  tower  in  our  days  suddenly 
fell  in,  together  with  the  little  hill  on  which  it  was 
built,  so  that  nowadays  one  can  hardlv  show  its  site  '.' 

Church  of  San  Costanzo. 

This  small  church,  which  was  originally  consecrated 
to  the  Virgin  of  the  Assumption,  is  at  present  dedica- 
ted to  the  patron  Saint,  of  the  island,  San  Costanzo, 
and  is  situated  in  the  centre  of  the  Contrada  Torre,  the 
district  where  stood  the  old  town  of  Capri,  it  is  said 
to  be  the  oldest  place  of  public  worship  in  the  South 
of  Italy.  As  early  as  the  time  of  Justianus  Favius,  the 
Benedictine  monks  of  Monte  Cassino  are  said  to  have 
had  possession  here;  in  987  a  Bishopric  was  established, 
and  the  Church  then  became  the  Cathedral. 

it  has  the  basilica  form  and  probably  stood  on  the 
site  of  a  pagan  temple,  though  Dr.  Schoener  is  not  of 
that  opinion,  and  says  that,  *  it  is  certain  that  the 
Church  did  not  succeed  a  Roman  temple  ". 

Wall-painting  of  Byzantine  style,  was  found  a  few 
years  ago,  when  the  floor  of  the  Church  was  repaired; 
but  it  is  no  tonger  to  be  seen. 

Mangoni  tells  us  that,  the  Church  of  San  Costanzo 
was  originally  adorned  with  eight  columns,  found  in 
the  region  of  Aiano,  shortly  before  his  time;  (in  the 
beginning  of  the  19th  century);  four  were  of  "  giallo 
antico  *,  and  the  other  four  of  *  cipollino  *,  each  being 
twenty  feet  in  height,  and  formed   of  one    solid  piece. 

246  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

These  columns  for  many  years  served  to  adorn  the 
Church,  but  the  four  composed  of  "  giallo  antico  " 
were  removed  in  the  year  1751  to  the  Chapel  of  the 
Royal  Palace  of  Caserta.    (Mang.  Ric.  Stor.  p.  496). 

At  the  entrance  to  the  Presbytery  are  to  be  ob- 
served two  fine  columns  of  "  giallo  antico  \  A  single 
column  was  found  on  the  property  called  *  Lacala  % 
somewhat  to  the  south  east  of  the  Church,  and  was  cut 
in  half,  thus  making  the  two  columns:  that  portion  on 
the  left,  as  you  face  the  altar,  plainly  showing  the  fluted 

The  basin  for  containing  holy  water  "  aquasan- 
tiera  \  near  the  entrance,  is  mounted  on  a  handsome 
antique  column  of  "  verde  antico  "  :  this  column  was 
recovered  from  the  sea  by  some  Capri  fishermen,  who 
presented  it  as  a  pious  offering  to  their  Church. 

**  The  construction  is  as  clearly  as  possfble  of  the 
early  Christian  era.  Two  high  and  narrow  tunnel  vault- 
ings each  resting  upon  eight  columns  —  pillars  and 
columns  alternating  —  cut  each  in  the  centre  and  form, 
by  the  aid  of  four  pilasters  in  each  direction  ,  three 
naves,  of  which  the  middle  one  is  five  paces  broad. 
Above  the  crossing  of  the  middle  nave  rises  the  cupola 
The  entrance  is  on  the  north  side,  facing  the  sea. 
The  whole  interior  is  18  paces  long  by  16  wide.  In 
later  times  additions  were  added  in  a  southerly  direc- 
tion, which  increased  its  length.  One  step  higher  is 
the  presbytery,    16   paces  square.    It   is  covered  by  a 

cross  vaulting   with  heavy  ribs The  front  is 

perfectly  plain  and  without  any  ornamentation  of  any 
kind,  except  a  clumsily  shaped  Gothic  door  in  its  cen- 
tre \    (Schoener,  Chap.  V). 

Church  of  San  Stefano. 

The  Collegiate  Church  of  San  Stefano  stands  on 
the  east  side  of  the  Piazza ,  and  is  approached  by  a 
broad  flight  of  steps.  The  present  edifice,  which  dates 
from  1683,  stands  on  the  site  of  a  Benedictine  hospice, 
and  was  erected  by  the  Bishop  of  Capri,  Dionisio  Petra. 
(Mang,  Ric,  Stor,  p.  497).  It  was  consecrated  thirty 
years  later  by  Bishop  Gallo. 

The  magnificent  pavement  of  antique  marbles  in  the 
Presbytery,  was  brought  from  the  Villa  Jovis  in  1759, 
and  presented  to  the  Church  by  Charles  III,  King  of 
Naples.  It  is  composed  of  "  giallo  antico  ",  "  rosso  ", 
and  "  saravazza  "  marbles.  Another  pavemente  of  an- 
tique marbles,  but  of  less  importance,  may  be  seen  in 
the  Chapel  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  The  pieces  of 
which  it  is  composed,  were  found  in  1888,  on  the 
property  of  Filippo  Esposito,  at  the  Palace  of  Tragara. 
It  was  placed  in  its  present  position  in  1892,  the  diffi- 
cult work  of  arranging  and  fitting  together  the  small 
pieces  being  executed  by  Oreste  Monsagrat,  a  Roman 

In  the  Chapel  of  the  Sacred  Heart  are  collected  a 
number  of  interesting  sacred  relics,  which  were   trans- 

248  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

ferred  to  their  present  resting-place  from  the  Monas- 
tery of  Certosa.  Among  the  most  curious  of  these  is 
a  cross  of  charred  wood  set  in  silver.  This  cross  dates 
from  the  Saracen  incursion  of  Barbarossa:  the  monks 
of  Certosa  paraded  this  cross  in  order  to  exorcise  the 
Saracen  marauders;  the  infidels  however  laid  violent 
hands  upon  it,  and  having  kindled  a  huge  fire,  flung 
the  sacred  emblem  into  the  midst  of  it:  after  the  de- 
parture of  the  Saracens,  the  cross  was  discovered 
slightly  charred ,  but  otherwise  uninjured.  Amongst 
other  relics  may  be  seen  a  bone  of  Saint  Prospero 
Martyr,  Saint  Secundus  Bishop  and  Martyr,  and  Saints 
Thomas  and  Nicolas,  as  well  as  those  of  many,  other 

In  the  Chapel  of  the  Crucifixion  is  a  monument 
with  a  full  length  marble  figure  of  Giacomo  Arcucci, 
the  founder  of  Certosa,  who  died  in  1397.  (See  chap- 
ter, Certosa).  He  holds  in  his  hands  a  model  of  the 
Monastery  of  Certosa. 

The  visitor  should  ask  the  Sacristan  to  take  him 
to  the  Sacristy,  where  he  will  be  shown  a  silver  half- 
length  figure  of  St.  Jacob,  to  whom  Arcucci  dedicated 
his  Monastery  of  Certosa.  There  too  is  preserved  the 
half-length  silver  image  of  San  Costanzo ,  ( made  in 
1715),  the  patron  Saint  of  the  island,  which  is  borne 
in  procession  through  the  streets  on  the  day  of  his 
Festa,  May  14th,  The  Saint's  mitre  is  adorned  with 
garnets,  saphires,  and  beryls  picked  up  at  the  Villa  Jovis. 
At  the  bottom  of  the  figure  can  be  read  these  words. 
*  Divo  Constantio  Caprearum  Insulae  Patrono  aman- 
tissimo  simulacrum    hoc   ex   publica  annonae  questu, 


piorumque  hominum  subsidiis,  grati  animi  cives  cons- 
truxere  anno  ab  orbe  redempto  1715. 

Dignissimo  Praesule  111. mo  ac  D.  Michaele 
Gallo  Vaudenegrede  \ 

A  pyx  and  monstrance  also  ornamented  with  emer- 
alds, saphires,  and  garnets  from  Villa  Jovis  may  be 

In  the  floor  of  the  nave  are  interred  the  remains 
of  John  Hubert,  an  English  Army  Doctor ,  who  was 
converted  to  the  Roman  Catholic  faith ,  and  died  in 
Capri  in  1780,  after  a  life  spent  in  good  and  charitable 
works,  which  are  enumerated  in  an  inscription  which 
marks  the  spot, 

Convent  of  Santa  Teresa  at  Capri. 

The  Convent  of  Santa  Teresa  at  Capri  was  foun- 
ded in  the  middle  of  the  17th  century  by  Serafino  di 
Dio,  the  daughter  of  Antonio  Piso  a  Neapoh'tan  :  her 
mother  being  a  native  of  Capri.  The  foundation  stone 
was  laid  by  Bishop  Pellegrini  in  October  1666,  and  the 
Church  was  consecrated  on  October  11th  1685  by  the 
Archbishop  of  Manfredonia ,  afterwards  Pope  Bene- 
dict XIII.  (Canale,  p.  357  &  359).  The  Convent  under 
the  rule  of  Santa  Teresa  carried  on  the  work  of  edu- 
cation till  the  suppression  of  the  Convent  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  last  century.  Besides  the  Convents  at  Capri 
and  Anacapri,  Serafino  di  Dio  founded  Monasteries  at 
Massa ,  Vico  Equense,  Nocera,  and  Torre  del  Greco. 
The  pious  founder  died  in  1699,  at  the  advanced  age 
of  seventy  seven. 

The  Convent  of  Santa  Teresa  has  long  ceased  to 
be  used  for  sacred  purposes.  The  Church  of  the  Con- 
vent is  dedicated  to  the  Saviour  (San  Salvatore) ,  and 
is  still  used  for  public  worship.  On  Christmas  Eve  a 
most  interesting  ceremony  takes  place:  on  this  occasion 
an  allegorical  representation  of  the  birth    of  the  infant 

252  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Saviour  is  given,  and  the  holy  child  is  carried  in  pro- 
cession round  the  Church. 

The  high  altar,  and  two  of  the  side  ahars,  are 
adorned  with  antique  marbles,  "  porta  santa  *,  "  giallo 
antico  ",  *  verde  antico  %  and  "  saravazza  %  which 
have  been  dug  up  at  Villa  Jovis. 

Behind  the  high  altar  is  a  painting,  evidently  of 
great  antiquity,  of  Saint  Nicolas  of  Ban:  the  light  how- 
ever is  so  bad,  that  is  seems  a  pity  it  is  not  moved 
to  a  better  position. 


Church  of  San  Michele  at  Anacapri. 

The  Church  of  San  Michele  at  Anacapri,  connected 
with  the  disused  Convent  of  Santa  Teresa  which  was 
founded  in  the  middle  of  the  17th  century  by  Serafino 
di  Dio,  is  worthy  of  some  notice.  The  door  is  usually 
kept  locked,  but  the  key  can  be  obtained  from  the 
Parocco.  The  Church  is  circular  in  from.  A  most 
interesting  majolica  pavement,  representing  Adam  and 
Eve,  surrounded  by  the  conventional  animals  in  the 
garden  of  Eden,  is  extremely  quaint:  it  was  executed 
in  1761  by  Leonardo  Chianese.  The  high  altar  is 
rich  with  particoloured  marbles,  and  flanked  by  two 
graceful  angels  also  of  marble:  in  the  centre  of  the 
high  altar  is  an  enormous  piece  of  antique  lapis-lazuli, 
said  to   be  the  largest   in  Europe. 


English  and  French  occupation  of  Capri. 

English  readers  should  be  interested  in  being 
reminded,  that  little  less  than  one  hundred  years  ago  we 
English  occupied  the  island  of  Capri,  though  our  tenure 
was  brief ,  and  our  final  exit  the  reverse  of  glorious. 
It  seems  to  bring  that  time  very  near  our  own,  when, 
only  the  other  day ,  Dr  Axel  Munthe  of  Anacapri , 
summoned  to  the  death  bed  of  an  old  peasant,  over 
ninety  years  old ,  found  that  ,  the  dying  man  was 
wrapped  in  an  old  English  military  coat!  (with  the 
buttons  still  intact  to  prove  its  origin). 

it  would  indeed  be  strange,  if  the  English  had  not 
occupied  this  rocky  island,  so  well  suited  for  defence, 
in  the  days  of  short  range  guns,  and  commanding,  as 
it  does,  the  port  of  Naples,  important  then,  as  now, 
for  its  commerce:  for  it  is  difficult  to  recall  a  single 
island  in  the  Mediterranean  that  was  not  held  by  the 
English  during  the  Napoleonic  wars ;  Minorca,  Ponza, 
Corfu,  Zante,  Cephalonia,  Stromboli,  Malta,  Corsica 
and  many  others. 

In  the  year  1806,  the  Two  Sicilies  were  separated: 
King  Ferdinand  IV  —  husband  of  Caroline,  the  famous 

256  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Queen  of  Naples ,  the  friend  of  Nelson  and  patron  of 
the  notorious  Lady  Hamilton  —  was   deprived   of   his 
entire  kingdom ,  with  the  exception  of  the   Island    of 
Sicily,  to  which  he  was  removed  with    his   wife   and 
other  valuables  in  a  British  man-of-war   by   our   own 
Lord  Nelson.    The  French  entered  Naples,  and  Joseph 
Buonaparte  was  proclaimed  King:  smarting  under  the 
crushing  defeat  of  Trafalgar,  they  made  every  effort  to 
maintain  and  regain  their  position  in  the  Mediterranean, 
and  to  exclude  British  commerce  from  European  ports. 
With  this  object  in  view,  they  determined  to  establish 
garrisons     at    numerous   points    along  the  vulnerable 
coast   of    Italy.      Recognising   at   once   the    strategic 
importance   of  Capri ,   a  French  garrison   was  thrown 
into  the  island  under  the  command  of  Captain  Chevret, 
the  strength  of  which  was  shortly  afterwards  increased 
by    reinforcements.    The    French    had    determined    to 
bring  over  from    Naples   heavy  artillery   and  strength- 
en    the   garrison ,     so    as    to    render    the   island    if 
possible  impregnable,  but  this  determination  was  arrived 
at    too    late.     Flushed    with    the   glorious    victory    of 
Trafalgar,  the  English  conceived  that,  the  sea  was  their 
exclusive  heritage ;  that  they  were  destined  by  Heaven 
itself  to   universal    dominion   over   that   element :    the 
Mediterranean  seemed  but  a  British  lake,  over   which 
they   could    brook    no    rivalry ;    the    more    desperate 
the  enterprise,  the  more  attractive    it   seemed   to  the 
many  bold  sea  captains,  trained  in  the  glorious  school 
of  Nelson,  and  taught  to  consider  no  odds  too  great, 
no    hardships   insuperable.     The    English    having   got 
wind,  through  their  spies,  of  the  design  of  the  French 
to  further  strengthen  the  island  of   Capri ,    decided   to 


anticipate  them.  For  this  purpose  a  fleet  under  Sir 
Sydney  Smith,  consisting  of  four  vessels,  including  one 
frigate  and  two  Sicilian  bomb  boats,  was  collected,  and 
on  the  morning  of  May  12th  1806  an  unexpected  attack 
was  made  on  the  Grande  Marina ,  on  the  north  side 
of  the  island.  The  French,  though  taken  by  surprise, 
bravely  defended  themselves ,  and  repelled  with  spirit 
the  attempts  of  the  English  to  effect  a  landing.  For 
some  hours  the  contest  was  sustained  on  both  sides , 
the  French  firing  briskly  from  behind  the  numerous 
rocks  and  boulders,  which  line  the  coast,  and  the  English 
pouring  in  a  demoralising  fire  from  their  heavy  guns 
afloat.  However,  towards  evening  the  English  effected 
a  landing  at  a  point  near  the  Grande  Marina  ,  which 
they  would  have  been  unable  to  do  had  the  French 
been  provided  with  artillery.  Under  cover  of  night, 
the  *  royalists  "  —  for  so  the  historian  calls  the  mixed 
force  of  English,  Neapolitans,  Corsicans,  and  Sicilians, — 
advanced  in  force  across  the  saddle,  that  connects  the 
twin  massifs  of  the  island,  and  attacked  the  heights  of 
"  Castello  "  or ,  Castiglione ,  which  commands  the 
village.  The  French  commander ,  Captain  Chevret, 
was  himself  in  command  at  this  point,  and  in  attempting 
to  stem  the  impetous  rush  of  the  Royalists,  was  killed, 
together  with  a  handful  of  his  men.  In  the  morning 
the  village  of  Capri  was  occupied  by  about  300  English: 
the  loss  to  the  Royalists  being  only  three  men  killed 
and  wounded.  Captain  Chevret  was  buried  with  military 
honours,  and  the  French  troops  were  allowed  to  retain 
their  arms ,  and  were  conveyed  to  the  mainland  on 
board  their  own  ships. 



A  civil  Governor  was  sent  over  by  King  Ferdinand 
from  Sicily,  to  administer  the  island.     During  the  short 
period  of  the  English  occupation  the  Caprese  enjoyed 
complete  protection  for  themselves  and  their  property, 
and  at  the  same  time  luxuriated  in  abundance  of  cheap 
food,  which  was  brought  from  Sicily  or  captured  from 
the  enemy's  ships    by  the   English    cruisers.    Colonel 
Lowe  (afterwards  Sir  Hudson  Lowe),  who  was  appointed 
military    Governor,   took  up   his  quarters   at  the    Pal- 
azzo   Inglese ,   or  Canale ,   and  at  once  set    to    work 
with  energy  and  determination  to  put  the   island   into 
a  complete  state  of  defence.    The  heights  of  San   Mi- 
chele,  S.  Maria  Soccorso,  Castiglione,  and  Cesina  were 
crowned  with  batteries  of  heavy  artillery,  the   Grande 
and  Piccola  Marinas  were  also  fortified.    At   Anacapri 
Captain  Church  was  appointed  engineer  and  inspector 
of  the  coast  at  that  end   of    the   island ,   and    erected 
stockades  at  the  Chapel  of  San  Antonio  (at   the  head 
of    the  stairs),    at    S.  Maria  Cetrella  ,    at  Damaceuta, 
and  at  several  places  along  the  western   coast.    In   a 
letter  to  his   brother   dated   April    nth    1807    Captain 
Church    writes;    *  By  offering    rewards   for   the    balls 
fired  by  the  British  ships  into   the    island ,    when    the 
place  was  taken  ,  and  which  were  to  be  found  in   the 
vineyards,  I  have  recruited  as  far  as  500  extra  rounds  \ 
Strong  walls  were  also   built  at   various   points  ,   and 
huge  masses  of  rock  rolled  into  the  rea  to  prevent  the 
approach  of  vessels.    So  impregnable  did  the   English 
consider  that  they  had  made  the  island,  that,  in    after 
dinner  speeches,  when  warmed  by  the  good  red  wine 
of  Capri  ,  they    called    it  ,    half   in    joke  ,    Mhe   little 
Gibraltar  ",  a  piece  of   bragadocio   which    they    must 


soon  have  regretted.  The  EngHsh  held  the  island  for 
about  three  years,  and  during  that  time  their  cruisers 
entirely  crippled  the  sea  commerce  between  Naples  and 
the  provinces.  According  to  Pietro  Colletta  who  wrote 
a  "  History  of  the  Kingdom  of  Naples  "  (1838),  and 
himself  took  part  in  the  landing  of  the  French  at 
Anacapri,  two  attempts  were  made  to  recapture  Capri 
during  the  reign  of  Joseph  ,  but  they  were  foiled  by 
the  vigilance  of  the  Governor,  and  the  presence  of  an 
English  fleet.  Captain  Church  in  a  letter  to  his 
brother  writers;  "  On  March  1st  a  division  of  2000  or 
3000  French  under  General  Merlin  embarked  from 
Baia  ,  and  were  half  way  across  ,  when  a  tempest 
arose  which  obliged  them  to  put  back  ".  in  1808 
Joachim  Murat ,  —  who  had  married  Caroline  Buona- 
parte ,  the  youngest  sister  of  the  great  Napoleon ,  — 
received  the  crown  of  Naples.  No  more  brilliant  and 
chivalrous  figure  than  Murat,  (the  son  of  a  country 
innkeeper),  "^  le  beau  sabreur  "  of  the  imperial  cavalry, 
flashes  across  the  dazzling  firmament  of  daring  soldiers 
of  fortune,  whom  Napoleon  delighted  to  honour ,  and 
to  raise  to  pinnacles  of  glory,  hitherto  reserved  exclu- 
sively for  members  of  a  privileged  class.  Thus  Napoleon 
himself  describes  him;  *  Murat  is  a  good  soldier — one 
**  of  the  most  brilliant  men  1  ever  saw  on  the  field  of 
"  battle.  Of  no  superior  talents:  without  moral  courage: 
"  timid  even  in  forming  his  plan  of  operations:  but 
"  the  moment  he  saw  the  enemy,  all  that  vanished  — 
"  his  eye  was  the  most  sure,  and  the  most  rapid  — 
*  his  courage  truly  chivalrous.  Moreover  he  is  a  fine 
"  man  ,  tall  and  well-dressed  ,  though  at  times   rather 


•*  fantastically.     It  was  really  a  magnificent  sight  to  see 
"  him  in  battle  leading  the  cavalry  ". 

This  gallant  leader,  eager  to  justify  his  choice  as 
King  of  Naples,  and  to  inaugurate  his  reign  by  some 
deed  of  successful  daring,  was  not  the  man  to  calmly 
endure  the  sight  of  the  English  complacently  occupying 
their  "  little  Gibraltar  ",  and  he  at  once  determined  to 
make  another  and  more  concerted  effort  to  dislodge 
them,  and  remove  the  stigma  of  their  presence.  The 
expedition  for  the  recapture  of  Capri  was  planned  with 
the  greatest  secrecy,  Murat  only  confiding  his  plans  to 
the  Minister  of  War,  and  Pietro  Colletta,  an  officer  of 
engineers ,  who  was  entrusted  with  the  dangerous  and 
delicate  task  of  recconnoitering  the  island  ,  disguised  as  a 
fisherman,  to  find  out  where  a  landing  could  most  safe- 
ly be  made,  and  of  ascertaining  what  opposition  was 
likely  to  be  met  with.  Orders  were  given  that  all  the 
ships  of  war  and  transports  lying  at  Naples  should  be 
put  in  commission,  so  that  when  the  favourable  mo- 
ment arrived  no  valuable  time  might  be  lost.  It  was 
of  vital  importance  for  the  success  of  the  enterprise 
that  absolute  secrecy  should  be  maintained,  that  the 
English  fleet  should  be  absent,  and  that  the  sea  should 
be  perfectly  calm,  as  there  is  no  anchorage  for  large 
vessels,  and  the  bays  which  are  accessible  are  impract- 
icable in  stormy  weather. 

A  conjunction  of  all  these  favourable  conditions 
occurred  on  October  4th  1808,  for  the  Commandant 
of  Capri,  having  supposed  the  expedition  destined  for 
the  attack  of  the  Ponza  islands,  had  despatched  thither 
the  frigate  "  Ambuscade  "  ,  Captain  D'Urban  ,  and 
other  ships  of  war,  which  had  been  stationed  at  Capri 


accordingly  on  that  day  orders  were  given  to  the  cap- 
tains of  the  French  transports  to  hold  themselves  ready, 
to  get  under  way  at  a  minute's  notice.  The  fleet,  com- 
prising one  frigate,  and  one  corvette,  convoyed  nearly  100 
transports,  having  on  board  2000  soldiers.  Lamarque, 
a  General  of  Division,  was  Commander-in-chief  of  the 
expedition,  with  Generals  Mont-Serras,  Destres,  and  the 
Prince  of  Strongoli  Pignatelli ,  assisted  by  Adjutants 
Chevardes  and  Thomas.  The  fleet  was  divided  into 
three  divisions,  the  main  flotilla  containing  about  1500 
troops,  composed  of  Carabineers  and  Grenadiers  and 
a  strong  force  of  the  Royal  Guard,  sailed  from  Naples 
and  Puzzuoli;  another  small  squadron  sailed  from  Cas- 
tellammare  and  the  remainder  from  Salerno  ,  having  on 
board  400  men  of  the  French  Corsican  regiment  quar- 
tered there.  By  dividing  their  fleet  into  three  divisions, 
the  French  hoped  to  divert  the  attention  of  Colonel 
Lowe  from  their  true  objective,  the  heights  of  Anacapri, 
where  they  were  determined  to  force  a  landing.  To 
prevent  his  concentrating  his  forces  on  Anacapri  ,  a 
vigorous  attack  was  simultaneously  delivered  by  the 
Castellammare  and  Salerno  squadrons,  on  the  Grande 
and  Piccola  Marinas. 

The  two  Marinas  were  defended  by  a  cordon  of 
boats,  fastened  together  at  prow  and  stern,  and  filled 
with  riflemen.  Captain  Panettiere,  a  Corsican,  com- 
manded a  force  at  Punta  Tragara,  and  a  battery  was 
established  at  Matromania.  It  will  be  interesting  to 
consider  what  forces  Colonel  Lowe  had  to  oppose  to 
the  French  attack.  Captain  Church  had  been  placed  in 
command  at  Anacapri  with  his  Corsican  Rangers:  in  a 
letter  to  his  sister  he  writes;  "  1  am  sole  governor  here, 

262  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

civil  and  military.  My  military  force  consists  of  two 
"  companies,    besides  an  officer's    detachment  of  forty 

*  men,  making  my  regular  troops  about  200,  and  two 
"  four-pounders.     Besides  these  I  have  about  sixty  mil- 

*  itia,  and  some  few  of  the  King  of  Naples'    gamekeep- 

*  ers.  I  am  at  the  advanced  post  ,  the  first  to  be 
"  attacked  when  King  Giuseppe  (Buonaparte),  shall  be 
"  that  way   inclined.     1  am    totally  independent  of  the 

*  commanding  officer,  except  what  relates  to  the  regi- 
**  ment,  and  communicate  with  him    by  telegraph  and 

*  night  signals.  The  population  consists  of  about  900 
"  people,  not  one  of  whom  can  go  down  to  Capri 
"  without  my  passport.  There  is  here  a  convent  of 
"  nuns,  and  a  college  for  ecclesiastical  education.  I 
"  am  on  great  terms  with  the  "  abbadessa  ",  a  most 
"  respectable  old   lady,  who    was    obliged   to  fly  from 

*  Naples  by  the  French,  and  is  much  attached  to  the 
"  English.  We  correspond  almost  daily,  and  as  often 
"  as  possible  1  make  her  a  present  of  fish,  fresh  butter, 
"  hams  ,  and  anything  I  can  pick  up!  "  ("  Sir  Richard 
Church  in  Italy  and  Greece  \  p.  11). 

Previously,  however,  to  the  French  attack,  a  Mal- 
tese regiment  had  been  sent  to  Capri,  by  way  of 
strengthening  the  garrison,  under  the  command  of  Major 
Hamill;  this  was  an  unfortunate  event,  for  the  Maltese 
were  of  inferior  fighting  material,  though  their  com- 
mander Major  Hamill,  was  a  gallant  soldier :  Captain 
Church  was  therefore  relieved  by  Major  Hamill,  and 
with  his  Corsicans  joined  Colonel  Lowe  at  Capri.  The 
two  regiments  together  furnished  an  effective  force  of 
1800  men  to  oppose  the  French. 


Colonel  Lowe,  assisted  by  the  batteries  posted  at 
Matromania,  Castiglione,  and  Tragara  had  no  difficulty 
in  repelling  the  attacks  on  the  Grande  and  Piccola 
Marinas,  and  the  French  ships  soon  retired  beyond 
range  of  the  British  heavy  guns,  having  accomplished 
their  object  in  preventing  Colonel  Lowe  from  sending 
reinforcements  to  Major  Hamill  at  Anacapri.  As  soon 
as  the  attack  on  the  Marinas  began  to  relax,  the  British 
commander  promptly  despatched  two  companies  of  the 
Corsican  Rangers,  each  of  100  men,  under  the  com- 
mand of  Captains  Church  and  Susino  ,  to  strengthen 
the  toops  defending  Anacapri,  where  he  at  length  per- 
ceived that  the  main  attack  was  being  made.  As  the 
Corsican  Rangers  had  been  previously  quartered  for  a 
long  time  at  Anacapri,  they  knew  every  pass  and  pre- 
cipice at  that  end  of  the  island,  and  were  well  suited 
for  the  work  in  hand. 

We  will  now  proceed  to  recount  the  attack  on 
Anacapri,  and  in  doing  so,  will  follow  as  far  as  possi- 
ble, the  account  of  Pietro  Colletta,  who,  it  will  be  re- 
membered, was  himself  one  of  the  attacking  party,  and 
one  of  the  first  to  land  at  Orico.  The  French  had  se- 
lected Anacapri  for  their  main  attack,  because  this  part 
of  the  island  was  not  defended  by  heavy  guns  ,  and 
when  once  captured,  the  rest  of  the  island  could  easily 
be  dominated  from  its  heights.  The  point  selected  to 
attempt  a  landing  was  Orico,  not  far  from  the  Blue 
Grotto:  the  French  vessels  approached  within  short 
range,  and  under  a  heavy  covering  fire  an  attempt  was 
made  to  land  by  means  of  ladders ,  one  end  being 
placed  on  the  rocks  and  the  other  on  the  ships.  The 
first  to  reach  the  land  were  the  Grenadiers  and  French 

264  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Corsican  Rangers,  led  by  their  adjutant  Thomas.  Col- 
letta  says  that  no  opposition  was  offered  to  the  landing 
party,  and  that  the  number  who  landed  were  only  500, 
(of  whom  135  were  killed  or  wounded),  that  the  weather 
then  became  so  stormy  that  the  ships  had  to  stand  out 
to  sea ,  and  the  disembarkation  ceased.  Other  ac- 
counts state  that  the  whole  force  of  1500  men  lan- 
ded ,  and  that  then  the  flotilla  proceeded  to  cover 
another  body  of  Corsicans  from  the  Salerno  squadron, 
who  under  cover  of  night  had  effected  a  landing  at 
Punta  Gradelle,  while  still  another  party  gained  a  pre- 
carious footing  at  Rio  and  Lupanaro  to  the  south  of 

At  break  of  day  the  attack  was  renewed  ,  the 
French  advanced  in  two  columns,  the  English  camp 
at  Demaceuta  was  rushed,  and  the  defenders,  finding 
themselves  overwhelmed  by  numbers  ,  retired  to  the 
higher  ground.  The  stairs,  leading  from  Capri  to  Ana- 
capri,  having  been  occupied,  and  the  fort  at  the  head 
of  the  stairs  surrounded,  Major  Hamill  and  his  Maltese 
found  their  retreat  from  Capri  cut  off:  they  were  at- 
tacked on  all  sides  by  the  French  Corsicans ,  Major 
Hamill  was  killed  \    and  the  Maltese ,  disheartened  by 

1  John  Hamill ,  a  native  of  Ireland ,  was  a  man  of  much 
tried  military  experience ,  and  during  the  attack  on  Capri 
having  given  proof  of  the  greatest  attention  to  duty,  and  that 
courage  that  fits  a  man  for  command,  had  gained  the  respect 
of  his  fellow  countrymen  and  of  King  Ferdinand.  The  gallant 
Major  was  hastily  buried  a  short  distance  from  the  place 
were  he  fell  with  so  much  glory  and  distinction.  The  distur- 
bances of  war  did  not  allow  a  more  honourable  burial.  But 
not  long  after  his  fall,  his  cousins  John  and  Caroline  Hamill, 
came  to  Naples  to  search  for  his   remains,   and  with  the  help 


the  loss  of  their  gallant  leader,  retreated  in  disorder  to 
Monte  Solaro,  where  two  companies  of  English  had 
already  fortified  themselves:  having  no  artillery,  and 
finding  that  the  French  had  surrounded,  and  were  about 
to  attack  them,  they  demanded  terms,  and  surrendered 
to  the  number  of  800  men  on  the  morning  of  Octo- 
ber 5th.  The  two  companies  of  English  Corsicans  , 
taking  advantage  of  the  darkness,  and  of  the  suspen- 
sion of  hostilities  to  define  the  terms  of  surrender,  and 
being  well  acquainted  with  the  country,  effected  their 
retreat  unperceived  by  the  enemey. 

Captain  Church  with  the  third  company  found 
himself  cut  off,  and  his  retreat  intercepted.  "  What 
was  to  be  done?  He,  with  his  little  force  remained 
quiet  till  eight  o'  clock  in  the  evening,  hoping  that  the 

of  a  peasant,  having  succeeded  in  finding  the  place  of  his 
burial,  piously  collected  the  remains  and  had  them  buried  in  the 
parish  Church.  As  he  had  been  a  worthy  man,  and  belonged  to 
a  Roman  Catholic  family,  his  relations  requested  that  a  mon- 
ument should  be  raised  to  his  memory:  in  order  that,  a  me- 
morial of  the  circumstances,  and  a  lasting  record  of  the  depar- 
ted might  be  preserved,  his  relations  caused  the  following  in- 
scription to  be  carved  on  a  marble  tablet: 


A  native  of  County  Antrim  in  Ireland,  and  Major  in  his 
Britannic  Majesty's  late  regiment  of  Malta,  who  fell  while  brave- 
ly resisting  the  French  invasion  of  Anacapri  on  the  4th  of 
October  1808;  and  whose  mortal  remains  are  deposited  near 
to  this  place  ,  this  tribute  of  affection  and  respect  has  been 
placed   by  his   kinsman   and  namesake,  October  3rd   1839. 


266  THE    BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

enemy  would  re-embark,  and  leave  them  free  to  descend 
the  rocky  stairs,  and  rejoin  their  friends  at  Capri  below. 
But  just  then  the  moon  rose ,  and  under  her  calm 
clear  light  the  enemy  were  to  be  seen  forming  into 
columns,  and  advancing  across  the  plain,  with  beat  of 
drum  and  fire  of  musketry.  *  Finding  all  hopes  of 
defending  the  post  I  occupied,  entirely  dissipated  ",  he 
says,  in  his  report ;  "  1  threw  the  gun  1  had  into  the 
'  sea,  and  commenced  my  retreat  by  the  left,  marching 
"  through  vineyards  and  narrow  roads  leading  from 
"  Dama  Conta  (Damaceuta)  to  the  Capo  di  Monte,  the 
"  only  retreat  1  had  left,  all  others  being  occupied  by 
•  the  enemy  ".  But,  to  his  amazement,  they  had  not 
gone  a  quarter  of  a  mile  when  they  were  met  by  a 
challenge.  They  had  marched  straight  upon  a  large 
body  of  French  troops!  Richard  Church's  ready  wits 
did  not  desert  him  :  reflecting  that  the  dark  uniforms 
of  his  Corsicans  would  be  a  protection ,  he  answered 
readily  in  French  that  they  were  French  troops  pushing 
on  to  rejoin  thdir  comrades  below:  and  as  Murat  had 
a  regiment  of  Corsican  sharpshooters  they  were  allowed 
to  pass  without  difficulty.  But  the  red  uniforms  of 
some  Maltese  who  were  following  them  discovered  the 
trick,  and  brought  down  a  volley  upon  the  adventurous 
captain  and  his  men,  doing  no  harm,  however,  for  the 
Corsicans  knew  the  country ,  and  speedily  dispersed 
among  the  sheltering  rocks.  But  to  descend  the  rocky 
stairs  to  Capri ,  was  manifestly  impossible,  and  yet  to 
Capri  they  were  bound  to  go.  There  was  nothing  for 
it  but  to  climb  down  the  face  of  the  rock  which 
divides  Anacapri  from  Capri  :  and  this  they  did  , 
scrambling  along  a  goat-track  through    the   darkness , 


clinging  to  bush  here ,  to  crag  there  :  and  not  daring 
to  speak  even  in  whispers :  feehng  sometimes  that  all 
was  up  with  then  if  a  pebble  dislodged  from  its  place 
bounded  echoing  down  the  cliff :  and  at  last ,  finding 
themselves  safely  at  the  bottom,  with  the  loss  of  only 
one  poor  fellow ,  whose  foot  slipped ,  and  who  was 
killed  by  falling  from  the  rocks  into  the  valley  below. 
This  daring  feet  received  its  due  meed  of  praise  from 
the  colonel  and  commandant,  Hudson  Lowe.  **  Captain 
Church' s  exertions,  "  he  reports ,  "  were  peculiarly 
"  conspicous.  The  orderly  retreat  of  this  detachment, 
"  through  parties  of  the  enemy  and  down  precipices 
"  heretofore  deemed  impracticable,  forms  the  highest 
"  eulogium  on  the  officer  who  guided  it.  They  had 
"  been  twenty  hours  under  arms  and  in  constant 
"  movement.  "  ("  Sir  Richard  Church  in  Italy  and 
Greece  \  pp.  14,  15,  16). 

The  position  of  Colonel  Lowe  in  Capri  was  still 
far  from  desperate,  he  had  with  him  1000  men,  including 
the  Corsicans  who  had  escaped  from  Anacapri.  At 
that  time  the  town  of  Capri  was  defended  on  the 
northern  and  western  sides  by  a  strong  wall ,  then  in 
good  condition:  the  fortifications  of  San  Michele  and 
Cesina  commanded  the  road  leading  from  the  Grande 
Marina,  and  those  of  the  Castiglione  or  Castello  com- 
manded the  approach  from  the  Piccola  Marina.  There 
were  also  several  stockades  on  the  stairs  leading  to 
Anacapri,  and  these  were  filled  with  troops  by  Colonel 
Lowe.  Besides  this,  the  British  commander  had  every 
expectation  of  reinforcements ,  supplies  ,  and  the  co- 
operation of  the  Anglo-Sicilian  fleet,  which  had  sailed 
for  Ponza  prior  to  the  attack  on  Capri,  and  which  by 

268  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

this  time  was  certainly  aware  of  his  precarious  position. 
Although  Fortune  had  so  far  frowned  upon  him,  still 
if  he  could  hold  his  own  for  a  few  days  only  ,  relief 
was  sure  to  come,  and  in  the  hands  of  a  more  spirited 
and  experienced  General,  (for  Colletta  distinctly  asserts 
that,  *  he  had  no  experience  in  war,  though  a  good 
"  disciplinarian  "),  a  seeming  disaster  might  at  the  last 
moment  have  been  transformed  into  a  brilliant  success. 
But  unfortunately  Lowe  was  not  made  of  that  stern 
material,  which  defies  Fortune;  his  prowess,  as  a  leader 
of  men  at  this  crisis,  is  as  much  open  to  criticism,  as 
was  seven  years  later,  his  conduct  as  the  guardian  of 
a  Hero.  Those  who  would  estimate  at  its  true  value 
the  character  of  Colonel,  aftewards  Sir  Hudson  Lowe, 
must  read  the  pages  of  "  Napoleon  at  St  Helena  " , 
by  Forsyth,  "  Napoleon  in  Exile  *  by  O'  Meara ,  and 
*  Sir  Hudson  Lowe  and  Napoleon  ",  by  Seaton:  here 
they  will,  we  venture  to  think,  be  convinced  that,  though 
he  was  conscientious,  he  was  tyrannical,  timid,  narrow 
and  bowed  down  by  the  magnitude  of  his  European 
responsibility;  in  a  word  a  man  of  equations  and  ounces, 
and  not  of  avoirdupois. 

The  French  greatly  encouraged  by  the  ease  with  which 
they  had  expelled  the  Royalists  from  Anacapri,  set  to 
work  with  prodigious  energy  and  enterprise  to  strengthen 
their  position.  With  infinite  labour  they  dragged  guns 
of  heavy  calibre  up  the  almost  inaccessible  rocks  of 
Monte  Solaro,  and  succeded  in  establishing  a  battery 
on  the  top  of  S.  Maria  a  Cetrella,  which  completely 
commands  the  town  below.  Not  content  with  this 
effort,  they  decided  to  attempt  with  a  picked  force  of 
men    to  force  the  Anacapri   stairway,    which    was   at 


that  time  the  only  means  of  communication  between 
the  two  parts  of  the  island.  This  stairway  consisted 
of  more  than  500  steps  cut  out  of  the  face  of  the  cliff, 
and  being  defended  by  cannon  placed  on  the  heights 
above,  and  the  greater  part  being  also  within  range  of 
the  batteries  on  Cesina  and  San  Michele,  the  under- 
taking was  one  requiring  unusual  courage.  On  the 
night  of  October  5th  the  attempt  to  gain  possession 
of  the  stairway  was  made:  the  Royalists  poured  down 
on  the  French  an  incessant  rain  of  shot  and  shell,  and 
obstinately  contested  every  inch  of  the  way,  but  finally 
the  French,  assisted  by  the  darkness,  drove  back  the 
enemy,  and  made  their  way  into  the  valley  ot  the  Ma- 
rina, where  they  planted  a  battery  at  Campo  Pisco. 
Under  cover  of  this  battery,  and  that  of  S.  Maria  a  Ce- 
trella,  the  French  advanced  near  the  town  of  Capri, 
and  taking  possession  of  the  houses  in  the  vicinity  , 
kept  up  a  brisk  and  galling  fire  on  the  Royalists,  who 
being  inferior  in  numbers,  were  driven  behind  the  walls 
of  the  town. 

The  Royalists  found  themselves  invested  in  the 
town  of  Capri,  and  continually  exposed  to  a  heavy 
connonade  from  the  battery  on  S.  Maria  a  Cetrella, 
when  on  October  7th  the  beleagured  garrison  was 
cheered  by  the  sight  of  the  Anglo-Sicilian  fleet,  which 
appeared  unexpectedly  in  the  offing.  The  relieving 
fleet  proved  to  be  of  considerable  strength  ,  consisting 
of  4  frigates,  2  corvettes,  4  bomb-boats ,  and  9  trans- 
ports ,  and  doubtless  Colonel  Lowe  felt  that ,  at  last 
his  hour  had  come,  and  that  by  the  opportune  succour 
thus  sent  him,  he  might  retrieve  his  former  errors,  and 
in  the  end  expel  the  hitherto  triumphant  French.    The 

270  THE   BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

fleet  immediately  surrounded  the  island,  and  cut  off  all 
communication  with  the  mainland,  but  on  account  of  the 
high  wind  it  was  not  practicable  to  land  troops  from 
the  transports.  The  commander  of  the  Anglo-Sicilian 
fleet  hoped,  by  depriving  the  French  of  ammunition 
and  supplies,  to  force  them  to  surrender  to  Colonel 
Lowe.  However,  the  English  star  was  not  at  that  mo- 
ment in  the  ascendant;  the  wind  increased  in  violence, 
and  Colonel  Lowe,  who  was  evidently  not  a  "  Man  of 
Destiny  "  —  like  his  future  prisoner, — saw  with  despair 
the  fleet  stand  out  to  sea,  and  leave  him  and  his  hard- 
pressed  forces  to  their  own  resources.  Perceiving  this 
freak  of  Capri  weather,  Murat,  who  was  himself  at  Capo 
di  Campanella,  gave  orders  that  a  flotilla  of  gunboats, 
and  vessels  laden  with  supplies  and  ammunition,  which 
was  lying  in  readiness  at  Massa,  should  run  over  to 
Capri,  in  spite  of  the  heavy  weather.  The  English 
ships  endeavoured  to  intercept  them,  but  did  not  arrive 
in  time,  and  though  the  French  flotilla  was  hotly  can- 
nonaded, it  succeeded  in  reaching  the  island  in  safety, 
the  boats  were  beached,  and  the  cargoes  discharged. 
The  weather  now  became  so  stormy,  that  the  Anglo- 
Sicilian  fleet  was  compelled  to  run  for  Sicily,  and  thus 
the  French  were  left  free  to  carry  on  the  siege  of 
Capri   undisturbed. 

General  Lamarque  now  determined  to  push  the 
siege  with  redoubled  vigour,  knowing  that  if  the  weather 
improved,  the  Ango-Sicilian  fleet  would  return  ,  and 
make  another,  and  more  obstinate  effort  to  extricate 
the  imprisoned  garrison.  A  continual  cannonade  was 
kept  up  by  the  French  night  and  day,  which  caused 
much  damage    to  the  walls  and    houses  of  the  town  , 


and  considerable  loss  of  life  to  the  Royalists.  Finally 
on  October  16th  Colonel  Lowe  lost  all  hope  of  suc- 
cess or  relief,  and  fearing  that  the  French  might  carry 
the  town  by  assault,  hoisted  a  white  flag.  The  French 
offered  favourable  terms ,  which  were  accepted ,  and 
the  Royalists  marched  out  with  flying  colours,  arms 
and  baggage  to  the  "  Certosa  \  which  was  assigned 
to  them  as  their  quarters  after  the  capitulation.  Once 
again  ill  Fortune  seems  to  have  dogged  Colonel  Lowe 
and  his  troops ;  the  ink  with  which  the  capitulation 
was  signed,  was  scarcely  dry,  when  a  powerful  English 
fleet,  which  had  been  sent  expressly  from  Sicily  to 
relieve  the  island  ,  hove  in  sight.  It  had  however, 
arrived  too  late ;  the  capitulation  had  already  been 
formally  signed  ;  so  nothing  remained  for  honourable 
soldiers ,  but  to  embark  on  their  own  ships :  in  spite 
of  the  heavy  weather  this  was  accomplished ,  and  the 
garrison  was  conveyed  to  Sicily. 

Leaving  behind  him  a  suitable  garrison  under 
Adjutant  Thomas  ,  the  new  Commandant  ,  General 
Lamarque  with  his  Generals,  and  the  remaining  troops 
left  for  Naples,  where  they  were  received  with  enthusiasm 
by  the  King ,  and  were  presented  with  pictures ,  made 
on  the  spot,  representing  the  attack  on  Capri  by  land 
and  sea.  Adjutant  Thomas  at  once  set  to  work  to 
fortify  the  island  in  such  a  manner,  that  its  recapture 
would  be  a  work  of  great  difficulty.  To  prevent  any 
approach  through  the  "  Bocca  Piccola  ",  (the  channel 
separating  the  island  from  the  mainland),  he  erected  a 
fort  at  Lo  Capo,  under  S.  Maria  del  Soccorso,  in  which 
he  placed  five  heavy  guns,  and  constructed  a  road  from 
the  fort  to  the  top  of  the  hill  behind  it.    At  the  Grande 

272  THE   BOOK   OF  CAPRI 

Marina  he  built  two  forts ,  one  to  the  east  on  the 
foundations  of  the  old  Monastery  of  San  Francesco , 
and  the  other  at  the  Campo  Militare,  now  the  Villa  of 
Monsieur  G.  Dubufe.  Forts  were  also  erected  by  him 
on  the  heights  above  the  anchorage  of  the  Piccola 
Marina ,  while  at  Anacapri  forts  were  built  at  Pino , 
Campetiello,  Orico,  and  Gradelle.  The  "  plateau  "  of 
Castiglione ,  which  being  in.  the  middle  of  the  island 
was  of  considerable  strategic  importance,  was  fortified 
and  supplied  with  cannon,  engineers  were  sent  to  the 
island  to  furnish  plans  for  a  port  at  the  Grande  Marina, 
which  was  to  have  been  strongly  fortified  ;  but  the 
disasters  which  soon  after  fell  on  the  French  arms  in 
the  Russian  campaign  ,  prevented  the  carrying  out  of 
these  intentions. 

A  Judge  was  sent  to  Capri  by  Murat,  to  settle  all 
legal  questions  and  disputes  as  to  property,  the  island 
still  remaining  divided  into  the  two  Communes  of  Capri 
and  Anacapri.  This  state  of  things  did  not,  however, 
last  long,  for  in  1815  the  Bourbons  were  restored  to 
Naples,  and,  as  before,  the  island  was  administered  by 
a  civil  and  military  Governor. 

Of  this  siege,  the  only  thing  which  remains  at 
Capri  to  recall  it,  is  the  ruined  west  side  of  the  Palazzo 
Inglese  or  Canale,  whose  walls  were  demolished  by  the 
French  battery  at  Cetrella,  and  have  never  been  rebuilt, 
and  a  few  rusty  seven  pounders,  which  are  dug  up  by 
the  peasants  in  their  vineyards,  and  some  of  which  are 
in  the  possession  of  the  writer. 


Letter  from  Colonel  Lowe  to  General  Lamarque. 

24  October  1808.  On  board  H.  B.  M.  Frigate 

"  L' Ambuscade  ". 


The  proofs  of  fairness  and  kindness  which  I  have 
received  from  you,  embolden  me  to  beg  you  to  aid  us 
in  embarking  the  few  people  and  effects  which  remain 
ashore.  The  ships  boats  have  been  nearly  all  swamped 
in  this  work ,  and  it  is  only  the  large  feluccas  of  the 
locality  which  can  stand  the  severity  of  the  wind  and 
sea.  An  officer  from  shore  having  signalled  to  the 
captain  ,  that  you  desire  free  passage ,  and  communi- 
cation between  Capri  and  Naples  for  three  days  after 
the  evacuation  of  our  troops  shall  have  taken  place , 
I  have  the  honour  of  sending  you  a  pass ,  and  rest 
assured  that  our  cruisers  will  put  no  obstacle  in  the 
way  of  anything  that  you  may  desire  to  send  to  the 
coast,  for  the  three  days  following  the  departure  of-the 

There  remain  on  shore  three  horses,  of  which 
two  belong  to  me,  and  one  to  a  wounded  officer.  If 
circumstances  do  not  permit  their  embarcation  at  pre- 
sent, 1  would  beg  that  they  may  be  left  in  the  charge 
of  my  servant  until  1  can  send  a  boat  to  take  them 
off.  In  case  there  remains  some  of  the  officer's  baggage 
and  some  women,  1  desire  to  leave  an  officer  on  shore  to 
take  charge  of  them,  until  it  be  possible  to  send  a  boat 
to  get  them  —  availing  myself  of  what  you  and  Gen. 
Thomas    have    kindly    indicated  regarding  this  matter. 


274  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Some  of  my  personal  effects  are  still  at  the  nunnery, 
as  I  did  not  wish  to  overcrowd  the  boats  with  it  yesterday, 
and  which  I  fear  I  am  unable  to  take  away  at  present. 
1  shall  ask  permission  to  take  them  away  at  the  same 
time  as  the  other  things. 

Assuring  you  General ,  of  perfect  reciprocity  on 
our  part  in  all  that  may  depend  on  my  representation 
to  my  superiors,  both  naval  and  military,  and  also  of 
my  personal  thanks. 

/  have  the  honour  to  be  General 
With   the   highest  consideration 
Your  most  obedient  and  faithful  servant 
H.  Lowe 
Lt.  Col.  Com. 
Troops  of  H.  B.  M. 

(Extract  from  the  Report  of  General  Lamar- 
que  to  the  King  of  Naples  in  regard  to  the 
capture  of  Capri  by  the  French  and 
Neapolitan  troops  in  1808). 

"  Voyage  de  Naples  a  Capri  et  a  Pestum  * 
J.  E.  Chevalley  De  Rivaz.  1846 

"  if  I  should  make  known  to  your  Majesty  all 
those  who  have  distinguished  themselves,  it  would  be 
necessary  for  me  to  send  you  a  complete  list  of  all 
the  combatants,  and  above  all  of  the  700  brave  fellows, 
who  on  October  4th  scaled  the  heights  of  Anacapri. 
Special  mention  however  must  be  made  of  Generals 
Pignatelli  Strongoli  and  Cattaneo,  naval  lieutenant  Bar- 
bara, my  aide-be-camp  Peirio,  Captains    Caraffa,  Sau- 


ray,  Ciruti ,  Lanzetta  and  Brocheti  ;  all  the  Neapolitan 
sappers ,  and  among  them  specially  Serjeant  Dom- 
manga  and  the  artillery  officers  Salvo  and  Codelui.  In 
the  royal  Corsican  regiment  1  will  specially  mention 
Galloni,  the  chief  of  the  battalion,  which  held  for  three 
days  the  Red  House,  the  most  advanced  post,  and  ex- 
posed to  a  cross  fire  of  three  batteries  of  the  enemy: 
Captain  Pompei,  who  deserves  promotion,  lieutenants 
Rezz,  Galvani,  Bonavita,  adjutant  Hector  (wounded); 
Napoleon  Mastretti,  Lega,  Paolini  and  Massoni  Serjeants 
of  carabineers,  Silvestri  and  Cometi  corporals,  who 
captured  two  cannon,  Agostini  and  Graziani  of  the  ca- 
rabineers. Speaking  generally  that  regiment  suffered 
heavier  loss  than  any  other,  but  it  also  inflicted  more 
severe  punishment  on  the  enemy  and  gained  greater 

The  grenadiers  of  the  second  Napolitan  regiment 
defended  the  ships  with  unusual  intrepedity  ,  and  sever- 
al of  them  were  wounded  by  the  fire  and  attack  of 
the  enemy's  frigates  and  other  vessels.  The  detachment 
of  the  first  Neapolitan  regiment  under  the  command  of 
its  officers  Alberti,  Palmieri,  and  Cerillo  made  itself 
conspicous.  as  well  as  Serjeants  Toni  and  Madolina.  I 
have  nothing  but  praise  for  the  soldiers  of  the  third 
Italian  regiment  of  the  line,  which  served  with  courage 
and  discipline  fully  equal  to  that  of  any  French  regi- 
ment; Captain  Terini  in  command  of  these  chosen  com- 
panies is  worthy  of  special  mention,  in  short  all  the 
troops  have  done  their  duty,  and  the  General  Pigna- 
telli  and  Colonel  Arcovito  have  shown  the  greatest 
enthusiasm,  bravery  and  devotion  ". 

Unknown  Grottos,  and  rock-climbers.  ^ 

(Written  by  Dr.  Hans  Heinz  Ewers). 

Everyone  who  has  made  even  a  short  stay  in  the 
Pearl  of  the  Gulf  of  Naples,  will  be  sure  to  1<now  the 
White  Grotto  (Grotta  Bianca):  it  is  always  included  in 
the  "  giro  \  or  tour  of  the  island  by  boat.  After  en- 
tering the  White  Grotto  in  a  small  fishing  boat  you 
land  on  the  rock,  and  find  another  salt  lake  inside  the 
first,  climbing  still  further  you  find  yourself  before  a 
second  dark  pool  of  salt  water,  which  appearently  has 
no  connection  with  the  sea.  At  the  mouth  of  the  White 
Grotto  ,  your  boatman  is  sure  to  point  out  to  you 
another  Grotto  at  a  height  of  about  forty  feet  above 
the  sea,  which  opens  wide  to  the  blue  sea,  giving  a 
glimpse  of  huge  stalactites.  He  will  tell  you  that  this 
cave  is  haunted  by  mighty  ghosts  and  no  money  would 
induce  him  to  explore  its  uncanny  depths  —  this  seems 
all  the  more  probable  because  he  could  not  possibly 
climb  the  vertical  cliff,  which  separates  the  Grotto  from 
the  sea  beneath. 

1  In  the  year  1900  Mr.  Oakely  Maund ,  accompanied  by 
Lieut  Ralston  Kennedy  R.  E. ,  and  Mr.  Harold  E.  Trower, 
British  Consular  Agent  at  Capri ,  chartered  a  sailing  boat  of 
about  20  tons,  and  had  her  towed  to  the  mouth  of  the  White 

278  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Early  on  the  morning  of  August  5th  1902,  accomp- 
anied by  my  wife,  Una  Ewers-Wunderwald,  Charles 
Boehme,  the  well  known  painter  of  marine  subjects , 
and  F.  Shushard  also  a  German  painter,  I  took  a  boat 
for  the  White  Grotto,  determined,  if  possible,  to  explore 
the  innermost  recesses  of  the  upper  Grotto  ,  so  far 
unbaptised,  and  not  admitted  into  the  respectable  society 
of  the  other  legitimate  Capri  Grottos,  the  Blue,  the  White, 
the  Green,  the  Red.  For  how  can  an  anonymous 
Grotto  be  tolerated  even  in  lenient  Capri  ?  1  took  with 
me  two  peasants  ,  Natale  and  Peppino,  who  could  climb 
with  the  certainty  and  agility  of  apes.  1  was  also  provided 
with  some  stout  rope ,  100   feet   in    length  ,    and  the 

Grotto  from  the  Grande  Marina,  and  moored  to  the  rocks,  so 
that  the  yard  of  the  big  lateen  sail  was  brought  within   about 
four  feet  of  the  upper  Grotto ,  since  christened   by  Dr.    Hans 
Heinz  Ewers,  the  "  Grotta  Maravigliosa  ".    Mr.  Maund  offered 
25  Lire  to  any  of  the  men  who  accompanied  him,  who  would 
climb  up  the  yard  and  enter  the  Grotto.    After  some  hesitation 
a  monkey  faced  youth  of  about  eighteen  volunteered  to  make 
the  ascent,  and  having  had  a  rope  tied  round    his   waist,  to 
guard  against  accidents,  he  succeeded  after  two  or  three  at- 
tempts, in  gaining  a  foot-hold  and  entered    the    Grotto.    He 
then  proceeded  to  fix  a  tackle  and  block  to  a  projecting  point 
of  rock ,  by  means  of  which  Mr  Kennedy  hauled  himself  up , 
and  made  a  cursory  examination  of  the  interior  of  the  Grotto. 
Mr.  Kennedy  was  not  provided  with  candles,  but  on  descending 
he  told  the  writer  that  he  had  penetrated  about  100  yards,  and 
that  the   Grotto  ran   uphill  at  rather  a  steep    gradient.    Mr. 
Maund  had  intended  to  have  a  corkscrew  staircase  erected,  by 
means  of  which  the   public  might  in  fine    weather   ascend  to 
the  Grotto,  and  he  had  even  gone  so  far  as  to  have  estimates 
prepared,  but  death  unfortunately  cut  short   this  philanthropic 
project.    (The  Editor). 


ladder  belonging  to  the  Capri  Cathedral  ,  lent  me  by 
the  kindness  of  the  Parroco.  As  the  rock  is  over-hung 
to  a  height  of  nearly  eight  yards  above  the  sea ,  we 
were  compelled  to  plant  our  ladder  in  the  water.  Natale 
and  1  climbed  up  the  ladder  and  secured  a  foot-hold 
on  the  wall  of  rock.  We  were  now  about  ten  yards 
above  the  sea  ,  but  there  was  still  another  thirty 
yards  of  perpendicular  rock  to  be  negotiated  before  the 
top  was  reached,  inch  .by  inch  we  crept  upwards,  until 
with  bleeding  hands  and  feet  we  drew  ourselves  to  the 
top,  and  lowered  a  string  to  which  our  friends  below 
attached  a  stout  rope  and  pulley,  this  we  hauled  up 
and  made  fast  to  a  convenient  stalactite.  By  means  of 
rope  and  pulley  we  drew  up  first  my  wife,  and  then 
the  two  painters. 

The  fateful  and  long  expected  moment  of  entering 
the  Grotto    was  now    at  hand:   for  a  few  seconds  we 
hesitated  to  disturb  with  our  twentieth  century  feet  the 
dust  of  a  thousand   years,    and    to  penetrate    into  the 
•  arcana  "  of  the   unknown  ,   but  soon  Progress  and 
Philistinism    routed    hesitation   and  sentiment ,  and  we 
passed  on  over  that  wonderful  brittle,  yellow  and  blue, 
glittering  carpet  of  sand.     1  fear  that  my  description  of 
this  Grotto    of  Marvels  will    be   poor  and  inadequate, 
and  indeed  to  do  it  full  justice  would  tax  the  pen  of 
a  Milton,  or  the  word-moulding  of  the  author  of  "  Childe 
Harold  *.    The  mouth  of  the  Grotto  is  wide  and  slopes 
downwards  towards  the  sea:  its  length  is  about  400  feet 
100  of  which  is    level;  for  the  remaining   300  feet  the 
floor  of   the    Grotto   slopes   gradually    upwards.    The 
greatest  breadth  is  50  feet,  and  the  height  80  to  100  feet. 
Whichever  way  you  turn  your  eyes  strange  and  unex- 

280  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

pected  phantasies  meet  your  half  terrified  gaze.     Here 
a  group    of   white    long-necked,   sharp-billed   herons , 
crowned  with  verdant  halos  of    maidenhair  fern,  seem 
to  hover  beneath  the  blue  ceiling.    There,  a  cluster  of 
great  brown  mushrooms,  as  large  as  a   man,  seem  to 
grow,  while  behind  them  appears  a  vista  of  white  lace 
curtains  of  the  finest  texture.     Here  are  stalactites,  each 
20  yards  in  length,  of  a  dark  blue  colour,  just  like  the 
blue  posts  we  see  on  the  Canals  of    Venice,  to  which 
the  gondoliers  lash  their  gondolas.     Again  we  see  others 
as  silver-white  as  the  pipes  of  a  huge  Cathedral  organ. 
An  enormous    black  polypous  seems   to    be   crawling 
down  the  wall  of  rock,  above  this   monster  hang  sus- 
pended from  the   roof  bamboo  canes  ,   the   colour  of 
water,  and  as  slender  as  a  pencil,     in    the  midst    of 
the  Grotto  you  will  discover  a  circular  lake  of  intensest 
blue,  in  which    plays  a  fountain,  all    around  grow  big 
bushes  of  yellow  cowslip  and  golden  wallflower — all  of 
stone,  to  be  sure ! ! 

For  its  wonders  of  colour  and  form,  and  on  account 
of  the  strange  fantastic  shapes  and  ghostly  apparitions 
which  inhabit  its  recesses ,  we  determined  to  call  the 
Grotto,  Wundergrotto,  Maravigliosa,  the  Grotto  of  Mar- 
vels. The  Grotta  Azzura  is  justly  admired  for  its 
wondrous  blue  colour,  but  this  marvellous  colour-effect 
sinks  into  neutral  tints  and  nothingness,  when  compared 
with  the  intensely  rich  hues  of  our  new-found  Grotto. 
The  dark  blue  sea  throws  its  reflections  (as  in  the 
Grotta  Azzura),  from  beneath  onto  the  openiug  of  the 
Grotta  Maravigliosa:  as  you  advance  the  intense  blue- 
ness  shades  off  to  a  light  blue  green  ,  and  in  the  far 
end  of  the  Grotto  it  has   turned   to   the  green   of   a 


polished  emerald.  On  the  right  hand  side  of  the  roof, 
you  will  observe  hanging  a  cluster  of  rose-coloured 
stalactites,  two  steps  further  on  they  appear  to  possess 
the  dazzling  whiteness  of  snow:  now  again  they  are 
yellow,  blue  and  black,  a  very  kaleidoscope  of  changing 
brilliancy  of  colour.  Yet  strange  to  say,  in  this  scheme 
of  colour,  apparently  so  bizarre  and  strongly  contrasted, 
there  is  no  jarring  note;  all  is  in  perfect  harmony  of 

We  think  we  have  said  enough  to  prove,  that  we 
were  indeed  justified  in  christening  this  latest  addition 
to  the  famous  galaxy  of  Capri  Grottos,  "  Maravigliosa  *, 
"  Wundergrotto  ',  "  The  Grotto  of  Marvels  \ 

Grotta  di  S.  Maria  del  Soccorso, 
Grotta  di  Tiberio,  or  Grotta  del  Monaco 

By  these  names  is  variously  called  that  vast  Grotto, 
which  is  formed  under  the  Villa  Jovis ,  at  a  height  of 
about  180  metres  above  the  sea.  With  the  exception 
of  the  Grotto  Castiglione  and  the  Grotta  Maravigliosa, 
it  is  the  most  extensive  Grotto  on  the  island.  There 
is  a  tradition  or  legend  that  an  underground  passage 
connected  the  Grotta  S.  Maria  del  Soccorso  with  the 
Villa  Jovis.  Signor  Canale  in  his  book,  "  Storia  del- 
risola  di  Capri  \  informs  us  that  he  discovered  the 
entrance  to  this  subterranean  passage  ,  inside  a  house 
on  Monte  Tiberio ,  that  he  caused  it  to  be  excavated 
for  a  distance  of  100  metres,  but  proceeded  no  further. 

282  THE   BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

Dr.  Schoener  saw  this  passage,  and  describes  it  in  his 
book  "  Capri  ",  pp.  84-86:  he  also  tells  us  that  he 
interviewed  one  of  the  workmen  ,  who  described  the 
wonders  and  glories  of  the  Grotto ,  its  wealth  of 
gorgeous  colours,  blue,  yellow,  white :  "  era  troppo 
magnifico  ",  said  this  enthusiastic  labourer,  finding  he 
had  come  to  an  end  of  his  laudatory  epithets.  However, 
truth  compels  me  to  aver,  that  this  labourer  must  have 
had  a  singularly  pictorial  and  fertile  imagination  ,  for 
I  myself  have  visited  the  Grotto  and  found  it  ugly , 
devoid  of  brilliancy,  and  not  in  the  least "  magnificent  " ! 
Having  had  my  curiosity  whetted  by  Dr.  Schoner's 
description,  1  determined  to  explore  for  myself  this 
Grotto.  Accordingly,  accompanied  by  my  wife  and  my 
two  climbers ,  Peppino  and  Natale ,  and  supplied  with 
some  stout  rope  and  a  ladder,  I  took  a  boat  from  the 
Piccola  Marina  to  the  little  beach ,  Cala  del  Salto , 
which  is  immediately  beneath  the  Grotto.  From  thence 
we  began  our  ascent,  which  was  difficult  and  somewhat 
dangerous ,  as  the  rocks  have  an  unpleasant  trick  of 
unexpectedly  taking  a  fancy  to  leave  us,  and  "  take  a 
header  "  into  the  blue  sea  far  below.  The  entrance 
is  lofty  and  fully  open  to  the  weather ;  we  found  the 
floor  covered  with  a  fine  dust,  moist  from  the  constant 
dripping  of  water  from  the  roof:  there  were  no  traces 
of  stalagmites  or  stalactites ,  in  fact  nothing  of  special 
interest  was  observed.  We  found,  however,  an  under- 
ground passage ,  which  ascended  in  the  direction  of 
the  Villa  Jovis,  but  as  it  was  choked  with  fallen  rocks 
and  debris,  we  were  unable  to  penetrate  more  than  a 
few  metres.  We  discovered,  embedded  in  the  sand  of 
the  floor  two  Roman  coins ,  one  of  silver ,  the   other 


of  bronze.  It  is  not  possible  that  these  coins  can  have 
fallen  or  been  thrown  from  above,  because  they  were 
found  well  inside  the  Grotto  itself. 

The  writer  concludes  his  interesting  description  of 
the  Grotto  by  surmising  ,  that  a  careful  excavation 
would  bring  to  light  many  interesting  Roman  antiquities. 


Quail  shooting  and  netting.  ^ 

The  island  of  Capri  has  always  been  a  specially 
favourite  resting  place  for  the  quail  in  their  spring  and 
autumn  flights,  and  the  capture  of  quail  by  means  of 
nets  has  been  a  substantial,  and  welcome  source  of 
income  to  the  islanders.  So  important  a  part  did  the 
quail  industry  play  a  couple  of  hundred  years  ago  that, 
Antonio  Parrino,  who  wrote  a  description  of  the  Bay 
of  Naples  in  1727,  says;  "  For  its  spiritual  needs  Capri 
has  a  bishop,  who  derives  most  of  his  income  from 
the  quails,  turtle  doves,  and  other  bird  of  passage  , 
which  are  caught  here  in  abundance  ".  The  bishopric 
of  Capri  has  long  since  ceased  to  exist,  but  happily  the 
quail  have  not  followed  the  bishop  and  deserted  our 
coasts,  though  they  are  not  taken  in  such  numbers  as 
they  were  a  hundred  years  ago,  which  may  be  explain- 
ed by  the  increase  of  netting  in  Egypt  and  Palestine. 
Hadrava,  who  wrote  in  1 793  a  series  of  letters  on  Cap- 
ri, says  that  in  his  time  as  many  as  12,000  quail  were 
taken  in  a  single  day,  and  150,000  in  the  fifteen  days 

1  The  contents  of  this  Chapter  appeared  as  an  article 
in  "  The  Field  "  of  Nov.  14th  1903,  and  is  reprinted  here 
by   the  kind  permission  of  the   Editor  of  that  paper: 

286  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

during  which  the  flight  lasted.  Even  in  our  times  large 
profits  have  been  made  by  quail  netting,  and  an  old 
inhabitant  has  assured  me  that  a  peasant,  who  paid 
him  £  3  per  annum  rent  for  the  right  of  netting  a  smalj 
piece  of  land ,  took  in  a  good  season,  quail  to  the 
value  of  £  24,  while  on  larger  tracts  five  or  six  times 
that  amount  would  be  realised  during  the  two  flights. 
Ferdinand  IV  King  of  Naples,  and  husband  of  Caroline, 
the  friend  of  Nelson ,  was  a  great  sportsman  ,  and 
used  to  come  every  season  to  Capri  for  the  quail 
shooting  with  a  party  of  jovial  companions.  He  used 
to  spend  fourteen  or  fifteen  days  on  the  island  ,  and 
always  lodged  at  the  Palazzo  Inglese  (now  called  Pa- 
lazzo Canale),  afterwards  the  headquarters  of  Sir  Hudson 
Lowe,  the  Governor  of  the  island  during  the  English 
occupation,  1806  to  1808. 

The  apparatus  for  the  fixed  nets  consists  of  poles 
about  30ft.  in  height  and  50ft.  apart,  to  which  are  at- 
tached several  rows  of  pockets ,  into  which  the  quail 
drop,  and  become  entangled  in  the  meshes.  The  height 
of  the  nets  varies  considerably;  those  placed  near  the 
sea  not  being  so  high,  as  those  on  the  uplands  and 

There  are  two  flights  of  quail,  in  the  months  of 
May  and  September.  During  the  spring  flight,  the  birds 
fly  very  low  on  the  water  and  reach  the  island  early 
in  the  morning,  unless  they  are  anticipating  a  storm, 
in  which  case  they  land  on  the  hills.  During  the  spring 
flight  (May)  the  quail  arrive  with  a  N.  W.  wind  in  the 
evening,  and  an  easterly  wind  the  following  morning. 
When  the  wind  blows  from  other  points  of  the  compass, 
the  birds  are  driven  away   from    Capri,   and    have  to 


make  their  landing  on  some  other  part  of  the  Bay  of 
Naples.  Like  all  tailless  birds,  quail  fly  in  a  straight 
line,  using  one  wing  higher  than  the  other,  as  a  sail. 
They  seem  unable  to  take  a  sharp  or  sudden  turn, 
consequently  during  the  spring  flight,  (when  they  are 
flying  low)  they  often  dash  themselves  against  the  rocks, 
and  fall  down  stunned  into  the  sea.  The  fishermen  are 
on  the  look  out  for  the  disabled  birds,  and  often  by 
cruising  round  in  their  small  boats,  pick  up  as  many 
as  twelve  or  fifteen  in  a  day.  As  a  rule  the  spring 
birds  are  in  poor  condition  and  tasteless,  but  the  au- 
tumn flight,  having  fattened  on  the  rich  grain  fields  6f 
Apulia  and  Campania,  are  heavy  and  in  excellent  con- 

During  the  autumn  flight  (September),  the  birds  fly 
high,  and  arrive  during  the  night.  Blind  quail,  placed 
in  boxes  on  the  top  of  a  high  pole  near  the  nets,  are 
used  to  decoy  the  new  arrivals,  who  gather  round,  and 
under  their  cages.  The  Society  for  the  Prevention  of 
Cruelty  to  Animals  has  long  tried  to  put  a  stop  to 
the  cruel  practice  of  blinding  the  decoy  birds,  but  has 
hitherto  been  unable  to  convict,  as  the  mere  possession 
of  a  blind  quail  is  not  by  Italian  law,  sufficient  evidence: 
the  owner  of  the  bird  must  be  taken  "  in  flagrante 
delicto  \ 

in  addition  to  the  fixed  nets  described  above,  the 
islanders  use  a  fan-shaped  hand  net,  which  is  attached 
to  a  leather  belt  worn  by  the  snarer.  The  net  is  about 
7ft  high,  and  8  Vsft  wide  at  the  top.  With  this  net, 
accompanied  by  a  boy  to  mark,  and  a  small  dog  to 
find  the  quail ,  the  snarer  scales  the  cliffs  and  narrow 
ravines  of  the   rocky    coast.    As   soon   as   a   bird    is 

288  THE   BOOK   OF  CAPRI 

flushed ,  he  spreads  out  his  net  to  its  fullest  capacity , 
and  directs  it  toward  the  quail  on  the  wing.  Should 
the  bird  strike  the  net ,  he  gives  it  a  dexterous  turn , 
enclosing  the  bird  in  its  meshes.  The  little  dogs  that 
accompany  the  fan-net  man  are  half-starved  clever 
little  mongrels,  of  no  particular  breed,  but  of  wonderful 
intelligence  and  endurance.  They  seem  to  be  tireless, 
and  work  all  day  under  the  fierce  rays  of  the  sun 
without  water,  and  with  only  a  small  piece  of  black 
biscuit  to  eat.  Many  a  poor  fellow  has  lost  his  life  in 
this  dangerous  and  precarious  sport,  for,  turning  sud- 
denly with  the  large  unwieldy  net,  he  loses  his  balance, 
and  is  hurled  down  a  thousand  feet  of  gagged  precipice. 

Quail  are  very  prolific,  often  breeding  three  times 
in  a  year:  the  broods  average  fifteen  young  birds.  A 
friend  of  mine ,  who  is  an  ardent  quail  shooter  and 
has  lived  all  his  life  in  Capri ,  tells  me  that  he  has 
often  taken  the  seeds  of  rare  exotic  plants  from  the 
crops  of  quail,  that  he  has  shot.  These  seeds  he  has 
subsequently  planted,  and  has  showed  me  the  flowering 
plants,  which  boast  so  curious  a  pedigree.  The  birds 
never  stay  more  than  one  day  ,  and  part  of  the  night 
on  the  island,  and  in  only  a  few  instances  during  the 
last  century,  have  they  been  known  to  breed  on  our 

Poaching  is  carried  on  at  night  by  means  of  a 
small  scoop  net,  very  similar  to  a  butterfly  net,  and  a 
dark  lantern.  The  birds  blinded  by  the  light  ,  remain 
perfectly  still,  and  so  are  easily  captured.  Poaching  with 
a  light  is  prohibited  by  law,  but  easily  evaded,  as  the 
small  police  force  in  Capri  is  quite  inadequate  for  this 


Perhaps  one  other  curiosity  of  natural  history  is  worth 
recording.  From  time  immemorial,  a  pair  of  falcons  has 
occupied  each  of  the  principal  headlands  of  Capri ,  the  re- 
markable point  being  that  the  original  number,    (as  of 
Noah'  s  Ark),  has  always  been  maintained.    As  is  well 
known  the  falcon  is  the  natural  foe  and  destroyer  of  the 
quail.  The  falcons  do  not  patiently  await  the  arrival  of 
the  quail  on  shore,  but  go  a  long  way  out  to  sea  to  meet 
them.    They  then  turn  and  follow  them ,  strike   them 
with  one  lightning  blow,  and  by  a  second  swift  swoop 
catch  them  in  their  talons,  before  they  strike  the  sea. 
These  Capri  falcons  may  be  seen  teaching  the  young 
idea  how   to  strike ,  and  kill  their  quarry.     As   soon 
however,  as  they  have  learnt  their  lesson,  and  become 
self-supporting,  they  give  their  progeny  their  "  marching 
orders  ",  and  forcibly  drive  them  off  to  the  mainland. 
That  then,  is  the  reason,  why  the  original   number  of 
falcons  for  each  headland  is  ever  the  same. 

Though  the  quail  are  far  less  numerous  than  they 
used  to  be,  a  pair  of  live  birds  are  still  worth  in  Sep- 
tember from  3d  to  6d,  and  the  increased  facilities  for 
rapid  transport  by  rail  and  sea,  enable  the  birds  to  be 
delivered  in  good  condition  in  the  Paris  market ,  so 
that  several  thousand  lire  are  made  every  year  by  the 
quail  netters  in  Capri. 


Some  Capri  flowers,  and  where  they  grow. 

This  chapter  has  been  specially  written  for  the 

Book  of  Capri  by  Mrs.  Longworth  Knocker 

^("Gratiana  Chanter'),  author  of "  Witch  of 

Withyford»,  "The  Rainbow  Garden  »  etc. 

To  all  true  lovers  of  flowers ,  the  island  of  Capri 
is  a  veritable  Garden  of  Eden.  When  once  the  Spring 
sets  foot  upon  her  lovely  shores,  the  flowers  spring  up 
as  if  by  magic.  Turn  were  you  may,  there  are  flowers. 
Flowers  everywhere!  You  cannot  wander  any  distance 
of  the  rocky  paths  without  treading  under  foot  some 
lovely  gem,  for  they  literally  grow  so  luxuriantly  as  to 
spread  a  carpet  for  your  feet.  It  seems  as  if  Flora  in 
her  dance  over  the  island  ,  had  emptied  her  apron  all 
at  once ,  so  enamoured  has  she  become  of  beautiful 

Now  1  do  not  for  one  moment  presume  to  speak 
to  the  scientific  botanist,  for  alas !  I  am  no  botanist  my- 
self, and  therefore  in  no  way  qualified  so  to  do,  though 
to  them,  I  know  truly,  Capri  ranks  high,  if  merely  for 
the  quantity  and  variety  of  flowers  to  be  found  there. 
So  it  is,  that  I  can  talk  alone  to  those  few,  or  many, 
who  love  flowers  just  because  they  are  flowers ,  those 

292  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

who  will  wander  all  day  long  happy  in  the  mere  gather- 
ing of  them  ,  seeking  them  in  their  special  haunts , 
drinking  in  at  the  same  time  the  beauty  of  their  sur- 
roundings ,  carrying  home  their  treasures  after  a  long 
tiring  day,  and  however  travel-worn  and  weary  they 
may  feel,  dropping  their  flowers  lovingly  and  comfort- 
ably into  the  water-jug,  before  they  have  given  a  thought 
to  rest  themselves.  To  these  1  would  say,  linger  long 
enough  in  Capri  to  see  the  myrtle  blossoming  against 
the  emerald  and  turquoise  sea,  the  Bay  of  Naples  spread 
out  before  you,  Vesuvius  far  away,  seemingly  uplifted , 
wrapped  about  in  a  mystic  majestic  garment  of  gold 
and  rose-coloured  haze ,  and  with  the  scents  of  the 
myrtle  around ,  you  will  realize  a  dream  exceeding  in 
beauty  all  dreams  you  have  ever  dreamed. 

It  was  Christmas  Eve  when  I  gathered  my  first 
Capri  flowers.  1  had  come  out  to  search  for  evergreens, 
(holly  if  possible),  to  decorate  our  little  room  at  the 
Paradiso ,  to  make  it  look  a  little  bit  like  home,  for  it 
was  our  first  Christmas  out  of  England.  But  holly  I  did 
not  find,  so  contented  myself  with  a  generous  bundle 
of  rich  green  myrtle  and  rosemary  branches,  which  as  I 
held  them  closely  to  me  on  our  home-ward  way  gave 
out  its  sweet  aromatic  scents,  saying  so  plainly,  "  Re- 
member you  are  in  Southern  Italy ,  and  not  in  En- 
gland \  and  many  a  time  I  repeated  those  words  that 
evening,  as  I  filled  the  quaint  Calabrian  pots  full  of 
narcissus,  and  wreathed  my  room  with  the  rich  sweet 
scented  foliage.  Fancy  decorating  ones  room  with 
rosemary  and  myrtle  at  Christmas-tide !  "  E  vero:  we 
are  in  Italy  ".  "  But  "  I  think  I  can  hear  you  say,  "  a 
whole  faggot  of  myrtle  would  not  be  the  same  to  me 


as  one  sprig  of  holly  ".  Ah  !  the  old  associations,  how 
they  cling!  But  we  "  cannot  eat  our  cake  and  keep 
it  too  ".  if  we  are  wise  we  will  take  the  goods  the 
gods  provide,  and  in  Capri  they  are  more  than  gene- 
rous. 1  do  not  think  that  dear  old  England ,  as  yet, 
has  been  able  to  manufacture  quite  the  same  article, 
and  owing  to  sundry  natural  causes,  1  doubt  if  she 
ever  will.  So  it  will  be  just  as  well  to  content  our- 
selves with  rosemary  and  myrtle  in  the  present,  with 
the  hope  of  once  more  embracing  our  beloved  prickly 
holly  in  the  future. 

In  the  months  of  January  and  February  the  nar- 
cissus are  at  their  best.  You  take  the  path  from  Ana- 
capri  which  winds  downwards  through  the  olive  groves 
to  the  tower  of  Damaceuta,  and  just  where  the  path 
emerges  from  between  the  loose  limestone  walls  on 
to  the  edge  of  the  cliff ,  pause  a  moment  and  look 
below.  Yes ,  it  is  undoubtedly  very  steep,  but  looks 
much  steeper  than  it  is,  and  shod  in  Capri  shoes  one 
can  do  wonders.  Descend  cautiously  the  uneven  steps, 
which  lead  to  the  tiny  gardens  terraced  out  of  the 
cliff  ,  then  find  your  wary  way  downwards  through 
heath  and  coronilla,  and  lo !  you  are  in  the  middle 
of  the  narcissus ,  and  soon  (if  you  are  as  greedy  of 
these  beauties  as  I  am)  ,  will  have  gathered  a  bunch 
which  you  can  scarceiy  hold  in  both  your  hands.  You 
will  spend  many  a  happy  day  amongst  the  narcissus , 
for  they  linger  long  in  Capri,  even  from  Christmas 
time  till  the  end  of  March.  Early  where  the  sun  shines, 
and  later  in  the  cool  shadows  of  the  cliffs. 

Every  English  country  child  knows  the  delight  of 
finding  the   first   primrose.      Aye  ,  and  every   English 

294  THE   BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

country  man  or  woman  feels  something  of  the  spring- 
time of  their  youth  come  back  to  them,  when  they  go 
"  a-primrosing  *.  But  alas!  the  primrose  does  not 
bloom  in  Capri.  Once  upon  a  time  it  did  ,  for  seven 
years  ago  I  had  one  brought  me  as  a  great  treasure, 
by  some  one  who  knew  the  island  well.  But  it  is  no 
longer  to  be  found.  Its  sweet  hiding-place  has  been 
discovered ,  and  thoughtless ,  ruthless  hands  have  dug 
up  and  destroyed  the  last  primrose  of  Capri!  So  it  is 
no  more.  But  towards  the  end  of  January  you  will 
find  something  else ,  something  which  you  remember 
hunting  for  in  the  fresh  breezy  days  of  your  boyhood, 
with  almost  equal  delight.  That  is  the  first  sweet  vio- 
let. There  is  a  little  wood  at  the  begining  of  the  Ana- 
capri  road  ,  upon  the  Capri  side ,  with  terraced  vine- 
yards above  it ,  climbing  right  up  the  steep  mountain 
side  to  the  very  foot  of  the  great  limestone  crags 
towering  above.  Turn  up  through  this  wood  ,  step 
over  the  path  which  cuts  right  across  ,  and  find  the 
easiest  way  into  the  nearest  vineyard  ,  search  carefully 
among  the  long  grass  under  the  high  walls  ,  which 
support  the  gardens  above,  and  there,  hiding  its  mod- 
est head  as  well  as  it  may,  from  the  keenest  edge  of 
the  "  tramontana  " ,  you  will  find  the  first  violet.  In- 
deed in  a  few  weeks  time ,  when  the  southern  sun 
grows  warmer ,  you  will  gather  generous  bunches  of 
these  same  sweet  flowers,  not  only  there,  but  in  many 
other  places.  I  remember  finding  some  particularly 
large  and  deep-coloured  violets  on  the  way  down  to 
the  old  battery,  Lo  Capo  end  of  the  island ,  almost 
as  fine  and  deep  in  colour,  as  the  great  russian  vio- 
let of  our  gardens.    They  are   well  worth  seeking  for. 


The  dog-violet  grows  everywhere.  Beautiful  in  form  , 
delicate  in  colour ,  but  personally  I  always  think  him 
somewat  of  a  fraud ,  with  no  right  whatsoever  to  the 
name  of  violet,  so  long  as  he  remains  without  a  scent. 
But  nevertheless  he  is  a  flower ,  and  a  charming  one, 
also  one  of  the  first,  so  must  not  be  altogether  des- 

It  is  also  in  the  little  *  bosco  "  at  the  beginning 
of  the  road  to  Anacapri,  that  you  will  find  the  first 
crocus,  forcing  its  slender  head  up  through  the  dead 
oak  leaves,  and  winter  grasses.  When  closed ,  it  is  a 
soft  buff  colour,  but  when  open,  a  delicate  lilac.  Pluck 
it  tenderly  for  its  stem  is  so  fragile  it  will  break  most 
easily  in  the  handling.  As  the  month  goes  on,  not  only 
in  this  *  bosco  "  will  you  find  the  crocus  growing, 
but  everywhere,  for  these  are  some  of  the  flowers 
wherewith  Flora  has  woven  her  carpet.  These  and  the 
anemones:  I  think  if  it  be  possible  to  make  any  choice 
at  all,  that  the  crocus  and  anemone  are  amongst  some 
of  the  most  beautiful  of  the  Capri  flowers.  Spend  an 
afternoon  in  "  Gasto  "  wood  at  the  beginning  of  April, 
or  even  at  the  end  of  March,  for  each  day  brings  forth 
fresh  wonders.  There  you  will  find  the  crocus  starring 
the  earth,  wide  open  to  the  sun,  with  anemones  in  all 
their  beauty.  But  do  not  fill  your  hands  too  full,  you 
have  yet  to  climb  up  amongst  the  boles  of  the  chesnut 
trees,  to  hunt  for  cyclamen  amongst  the  fallen  leaves. 
Ah,  there  they  are!  Little  rosy  gems  doing  their  best 
to  hide  themselves  from  all  observers.  You  must  not 
pick  the  cyclamen,  but  pull  him  ,  as  you  would  a  lily 
of  the  valley.  Place  them  amongst  your  crocus  and 
anemones,  and  see  how  the  colours  blend,  violet,  pink 

296  -  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

and  rose-colour,  and  behold !  what  a  bouquet  you 
have  gathered  !  Later  go  to  the  same  wood  when  the 
golden  broom  and  coronilla  are  in  bloom:  just  to  see 
the  trick  which  Flora  has  played  to  plant  it  so  against 
the  blue  of  the  Capri  sea,  When  your  eyes  are  fairly 
<lazzled  with  gazing  at  so  much  beauty,  drop  down  into 
the  cool  shades  of  the  lemon  groves  below,  and  look 
for  the  fragile  blue  anemone  apenennina,  which  grows 
Juxuriantly  beneath  their  shade.  Why  they  have  favour- 
ed this  one  particular  lemon  grove,  who  can  say? 
But  that  they  grow  nowhere  else  in  Capri  I  believe  is 
well  assured. 

Now  there  is  another  walk  you  must  take  in  the 
month  of  April,  and  that  is  to  the  breezy  hill  of  the 
Semaphore,  in  search  of  orchids.  You  must  not  keep 
to  the  path,  but  turn  off  the  beaten  track,  for  it  is 
always  there,  as  in  life,  that  one  is  likely  to  stumble 
on  the  most  interesting  things.  Keep  to  the  eastern 
side  of  the  hill,  and  wind  your  way  amongst  the  tall 
white  asphodel  spires,  and  sweeps  of  golden  broom, 
not  permitting  their  beauty  to  distract  you.  Think  only 
and  entirely  of  what  you  have  come  to  seek,  for  the 
colouring  of  the  bee  orchids  especially,  blends  so  cu- 
riously with  its  surroundings,  that  it  is  a  necessity  to 
have  all  your  wits  about  you,  also  a  very  sharp  pair 
of  eyes  to  discover  it  at  all.  I  have  before  me  now  a 
bunch  of  these  same  fairy-like  flowers,  their  waxen 
wings  outspread,  as  if  each  little  floweret  were  ready 
to  take  flight  and  soar  away.  Pale  pink  or  pure  white 
are  their  wings,  all  veined  with  apple  green.  Their 
rich  soft  downy  bodies  clothed  in  velvety  brown  ,  or 
merging  as  only  an  orchid    can  ,  into   subtle   browns 


and  greens.  The  delicate  stem,  which  alone  keeps 
these  winged  things  to  earth,  is  a  joy  in  itself.  One 
feels  that  if  it  had  been  one  whit  less  beautiful ,  they 
would  never  have  been  content  to  stay.  One  of  these 
gems  alone  would  be  reward  enough  for  a  whole  day's 
wander.  But  no  need  to  be  content  with  one.  Keep 
your  eyes  open,  and  as  I  have  said  before,  your  wits 
about  you,  (partly  because  the  Semaphore  hill  is  not  a 
**  Strada  Carrozzabile  "),  and  if  you  have  the  eye  of  a 
true  flower-hunter,  in  an  hour  you  will  have  gathered 
a  bunch  of  these  lovely  imprisoned  winged  things, 
which  will  be  a  delight  to  you  for  a  whole  week  to 
come.  Put  them  in  water  and  watch  them  as  they  de- 
velope  then  1  think  you  will  go  again  to  the  Sema- 
phore hill. 

Yes,  you  will  most  assuredly  go  again  to  the 
Semaphore  hill,  if  not  to  hunt  for  orchids,  just  to  spend 
a  quiet  hour  amongst  the  asphodels  whose  beauty  you 
found  it  an  absolute  necessity  to  ignore  the  other  day, 
causing  you,  as  they  did,  to  crush  beneath  your  feet 
one  of  the  most  perfect  specimens  of  the  flower  you 
had  come  to  seek.  Well,  now  you  may  pick  out  the 
most  comfortable  limestone  rock  you  can  find  ,  and 
give  yourself  up  entirely  to  the  glamour  of  the  aspho- 
dels. "  Ah,  "  you  will  say  at  length,  "  no  wonder  the 
Greeks  chose  them  for  their  national  flower  ".  You 
are  amongst  a  miniature  forest  of  silver  spires  topped 
with  soft  rosey  pink.  You  have  seen  the  snowy  Al- 
pine peaks  with  just  such  a  sheen  and  glow  upon 
them.  Now  look  beyond,  or  rather  between  their  rich 
warm  stems,  how  the  sapphire  sea  flashes  and  dances 
below,  then    beyond  again  ,    where    the   islands  of  the 

298  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Sirens  seem  afloat  upon  the  bay  wrapped  in  an  opal 
haze,  then  the  purple  coast,  then  Calabria,  until  your 
eyes  rest  at  length  upon  the  silvered  peaks  of  the  snow- 
capped Apennines.  And  the  asphodels:  there  they  stand 
all  around  you,  slowly  waving  to  and  fro  in  the  breath 
of  the  southern  breeze.  What  a  foreground  to  the 
classic  scene  before  you  !  How  they  cling  about  the 
old  ruins  of  the  gods !  The  gods  are  dead ,  but  the 
asphodel  still  lives.  Ah,  so  you  will  rest  awhile  and 
dream  of  the  fields  Elysian  ,  and  maybe  of  the  great 
dead,  whom  these  same  flowers  inspired  to  sing  of 
their  beauty. 

But  if,  after  your  meditations,  your  enthusiasm  car- 
ries you  so  far  as  to  gather  a  bunch  of  these  same 
classic  beauties  to  take  home  with  you,  I  would  say 
as  Punch  once  said  "  To  those  about  to  marry.  Don't  ". 
Most  emphatically  don't.  I  have  a  strong  suspicion 
you  will  take  no  heed  whatever  to  my  advice,  anymore 
than  the  rest  of  the  world  have  hitherto  taken  that  of 
Mr.  Punch  on  the  subject  of  matrimony;  so  you  will 
gather  your  asphodels  all  the  same ,  with  long  stalks 
and  a  plentiful  supply  of  graceful  leaves,  and  you  will 
place  them  in  your  tallest  pot  in  the  very  centre  of 
your  mantelpiece  ,  (always  if  possible  choose  a  room 
with  a  mantelpiece),  then  you  will  rest  on  your  sofa 
and  admire  them.  "  How  lovely  they  are,  "  you  say, 
"  what  can  there  possibly  be  against  them  ?  "  So  it  is 
that  you  will  settle  yourself  comfortably  into  your  book, 
now  and  again  glancing  up  at  your  flowers,  or  maybe 
at  the  fire  of  olive  wood  burning  upon  the  hearth.  How 
cosy  it  is !  How  lovely  the  flowers  look  in  the  light  of 
the  lamp  !     How  they  turn  this  simple  bare  room  into 


a  veritable  bower !  So  musing ,  you  bury  yourself 
again  in  your  book,  allowing  the  soothing  influence 
of  the  wood  fire  to  creep  over  you.  It  is  then,  just 
at  the  moment  when  you  are  most  comfortable  and 
cosy,  that  you  gradually  become  aware  that  there  is 
something  in  the  room,  something  which  annoys  you, 
indeed  it  greatly  disturbs  you.  "  Good  gracious  "  you 
exclaim,  "  What  an  awful  —  What  on  earth  can  it 
be  *  ?  You  arise  from  your  comfortable  corner  in  an 
extremely  irritated  condition  ,  and  follow  that  sensitive 
organ,  your  nose,  round  the  room  on  a  voyage  of 
discovery.  No,  there  is  absolutely  nothing  in  the  room 
that  could  possibly  account  for  it.  Then  if  not  in  the 
room  it  must  be  out  of  it.  Dare  you  open  the  window! 
Yes,  at  all  risks  you  must  find  out  from  whence  it 
comes.  You  turn  the  latch,  and  cautiously  pull  the 
window  towards  you:  in  rushes  the  cool  night  breeze 
from  the  sea.  Oh  how  delicious!  No,  it  is  certainly 
not  from  without,  then  it  must  be  within.  Again  you 
make  a  voyage  round  your  chamber,  until  at  length 
you  come  to  a  halt  in  front  of  your  lovely  mantel- 
piece. Yes,  it  is  most  certainly  here.  Who  is  it?  What 
can  it  be?  You  insert  your  nose  first  into  the  violets, 
then  into  the  cyclamen,  then  into  the  anemones,  orchids, 
lithospermum,  lastly  into  the  great  pot  of  golden  broom 
and  coronilla.  No!  it  is  none  of  these,  they  are  abso- 
lutely free  of  any  offence.  You  gaze  upwards  to  the 
asphodels,  where  their  starry  eyes  look  down  upon 
you  from  the  heights  above.  Can  it  be  possible !  You 
place  your  feet  upon  the  fender,  and  reach  the  lowest 
star.  Oh!  howappaling!  and  "  hey  presto  "  Calabrian 
pot  and  all  are  hurled  outside,  and  the  window  tightly 

300  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

locked  upon  them.  No!  you  cannot  interfere  lightly 
with  those  whom  the  gods  have  loved,  nor  is  it  always 
wise  to  neglect  the  advice  of  Mr.  Punch. 

There  is  a  knoll  partly  grass,  and  partly  rock  on 
the  way  to  Damaceuta  where  you  would  like  to  go. 
it  lies  on  your  right,  where  the  pathway  turns  a  cor- 
ner not  far  below  Anacapri.  Climb  over  the  wall  and 
take  a  short  cut  across,  until  you  again  meet  the  path- 
way below.  It  is  my  favourite  place  for  anemones , 
for  their  colours  seem  to  vary  there,  in  a  way  they  do 
nowhere  else.  It  was  also  there ,  one  day  in  the  be- 
ginning of  May  ,  that  I  came  across  what  1  at  first 
thought  to  be  a  gigantic  flight  of  blue  butterflies.  Cau- 
tiously 1  approached  them,  for,  1  feared  as  my  shadow 
fell  ,  they  would  fly  away  into  space  ,  before  I  could 
get  a  good  look  at  them  ,  but  I  was  right  amongst 
them,  and  they  took  no  notice  of  me  whatever.  Then 
it  was  that  1  discovered  they  were  no  butterflies  at  all, 
but  quantities  of  the  most  lovely  little  blue  iris  1  had 
ever  seen,  so  delicate  their  stems,  that  a  little  distance 
off,  they  seemed  scarcely  alight  upon  the  grasses.  1 
hope  you  may  find  these  iris,  and  enjoy  them  as  much 
as  1  did,  they  are  worth  a  considerable  hunt,  1  as- 
sure you. 

There  are  long  delightful  days  to  be  spent  on  Monte 
Solaro  ,  where  flowers  grow ,  which  are  to  be  found 
nowhere  else  on  the  island.  There  is  another  day  to 
be  spent,  or  many,  most  certainly  many,  on  the  lovely 
way  to  the  Lighthouse.  There  you  will  see  the  rose- 
mary and  cistus  at  their  best.  There,  later  on  you  may 
lie,  and  dream  amidst  the  myrtle  and  arbutus  bowers. 
It  is  on  that  same  pathway  too,  you  will  see  at  their 


best  the  cornfields  under  the  olives  ablaze  with  pop- 
pies ,  cornflowers ,  and  marigolds.  It  is  also  in  these 
cornfields,  that  you  will  find  the  tall  rose-coloured  glad- 
eoli,  and  large  purple  anemone. 

But  it  is  not  possible  in  so  small  a  space  to  enu- 
merate one  half,  or  one  quarter,  of  the  flowers  to  be 
found  on  the  way  to  the  Lightouse ,  and  still  more 
impossible  to  speak  of  all  those  which  deck  the  island. 
Of  the  deep  blue  drapery  of  the  lithospermum,  of  the 
clustering  bells  of  the  campanula,  hanging  amidst  the 
great  limestone  towers,  of  the  sunshine  of  the  spurges. 
No,  it  is  impossible.  The  subject  is  endless,  for  each 
one  deserves  a  chapter  to  themselves.  So  1  will  say 
finally  to  help  you,  buy  Dr.  I.  Cerio's  most  excellent 
book,  "  Flora  dell'lsola  di  Capri  "  published  by  Emilio 
Prass  of  Naples,  for  in  it  he  gives  you  every  flower 
which  blooms  upon  the  island ,  with  their  Latin  ,  and 
often  their  English,  French,  and  German  names.  Also 
in  many  cases,  where  they  are  to  be  found.  With  this 
if  you  read,  mark ,  and  learn,  and  with  your  own  in- 
stinct ,  love ,  and  knowledge ,  your  pleasures  will  be 
unlimited  and  lasting. 

So  may  you  linger  long  in  Capri ,  and  be  happy 
amongst  its  flowers. 

Festival  of  San  Costanzo  — An  Island  Carnival.  ^ 

"  Paganisme  immortel,  es  tu  mort?  On  le  dit 

Mais  Pan,  tout  bas,  s'  en  moque  et  la  Sirene  en  rit  •. 

"  What  mean  these  flower-strewn  lanes,  these  banners  gay, 
These  blue-veiled  maidens  in  this  fair  attire, 
These  gossips  come  to  see  and  to  admire, 
These  ruddy  youths,  who  make  such  brave  display, 

A  long  procession  files  in  slow  array. 
Aloft,  a  silver  image  gleams  like  fire. 
Borne  shoulder-high,  amid  a  white-robed  choir, 
The  patron  saint  moves  on  his  festal  way. 

Great  Pan  is  dead  ?  Ah,  No  1  he  lives.    Tis  we 
Blind  with  the  scales  of  centuries  on  our  eyes, 
Have  lost  belief  and  thus  the  power  to  see. 

These  humble  folk,  in  their  simplicity, 
Perceive  the  glory  which  around  them  lies 
And  commune  with  their  Gods  perpetually  ". 

Ellingham  Brooks. 

^  The  greater  part  of  this  Chapter  appeared  in  "  The 
Gentlewoman  "  of  Oct.  24th  1903,  and  is  repainted  here  by  the 
kind  permission  of  the  Editor  of  that  paper. 

304  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

The  island  of  Capri  in  best  known  to  the  world 
in  general  as  the  quondam  retreat  of  the  Emperor 
Tiberius ,  a  much  maligned  and  misunderstood  old 
gentleman,  who,  according  to  popular  report  and  local 
gossip,  at  the  advanced  age  of  seventy  is  credited  with 
having  committed  untold  naughtiness.  We  are  also 
celebrated  in  a  more  reputable  way,  for  our  Blue 
Grotto,  which  is  indeed  extremely  blue  during  the  long 
hot  days  of  July  and  August ,  when  nobody  sees  it 
except  a  stray  fisherman  or  itinerant  painter ,  but  is 
not  half  as  blue  as  it  is  painted  under  the  cold,  inclement 
skies  of  February  and  March  ,  when  the  unfortunate 
tourists ,  after  a  rough  crossing  ,  are  precipitated  into 
the  cockle-shell  boats ,  which  await  the  arrival  of  the 
steamer,  and  told  to  admire  its  beauties. 

Our  shady  Emperor  and  our  Blue  Grotto  are 
known  to  all  men,  and  are,  in  a  measure,  our  excuse 
for  existence.  But  the  reader  of  average  intelligence  is 
probably  not  aware,  that  as  we  are  associated  with  a 
special  sinner ,  so  we  are  under  the  protection  of  a 
very  particular  Saint.  Every  town  and  parish  (paese) 
in  Italy,  has  its  own  particular  patron  saint.  Our  Saint 
is  "  San  Costanzo  "  and  like  many  another  saint  and 
sinner,  has  a  very  remarkable  private  history.  He  was 
at  one  time  Bishop  of  Constantinople,  but  having  made 
himself  unpopular  was  murdered,  and  his  remains  being 
placed  in  a  large  cask ,  were  flung  surreptiously  into 
the  Bosphorus ,  and  the  murderers  thought  they  had 
heard  the  last  of  the  good  Bishop.  But  this  was  not 
to  be.  The  remains  of  this  excellent,  but  unappreciated 
Bishop  were  taken  in  charge  by  the  proverbially  fickle 
winds  and  waves,  which  after  due  consideration,  agreed 


to  convey  him,  "  franco  di  posto,  "  to  the  shores  of 
Capri,  where  they  knew  that  the  Saint  would  be  rec- 
eived with  welcome  and  hospitality.  After  a  somewhat 
long  and  stormy  voyage,  the  cask  reached  the  Grande 
Marina,  where  it  was  discovered  by  a  young  fisherman, 
who  promptly  informed  the  priest  of  the  arrival  of  the 
sainted  voyageur ,  and  whatever  was  left  of  him  was 
given  decent  and  honourable  sepulture. 

Others  may  date  all  events  of  importance  from 
the  ides  of  March,  from  Old  Lady  Day,  or  New  Lady 
Day ,  from  the  Hjira,  from  Washington'  s  birthday,  or 
Declaration  Day.  We  in  Capri,  "  set  our  house  in 
order  "  for  our  annual  Festa  of  San  Costanzo.  For 
weeks  prior  to  the  great  event  the  houses  and  street 
arcades  are  freshly  whiteswashed  ,  the  churches  are 
cleaned  inside  and  out,  and  glow  resplendent  in  paint 
and  shining  gold.  Woe!  to  the  Capri  maiden,  who  on 
that  auspicious  day  does  not  succeed  in  providing 
herself  with  a  new  gown,  and  still  more  Woe!  to  the 
sweetheart,  who  does  not  help  in  the  providing,  for 
assuredly  he  may  pay  in  his  "  amourous  chips  ",  and 
expect  to  be  discarded  forthwith  ,  "  without  benefit  of 
clergy  "  ,  in  favour  of  some  other  swain ,  who  better 
understands  his  obligations. 

Our  Festa  of  San  Costanzo  takes  place  on  May 
14th,  a  most  charming  season  of  the  year,  for  spring 
has  but  newly  visited  us,  the  air  is  warm  and  balmy, 
and  loaded  with  the  scent  of  the  orange,  and  the  lemon, 
the  sky  is  a  serene  and  placid  blue ,  but  without  the 
passion  of  late  summer,  and  the  landscape  has  not  that 
wearied  look ,  exhausted ,  as  it  were ,  by  the  constant 
warm  devotion  of  the  Sun,  which  seems  to  prevail  at 


306  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

the  end  of  August ,  when  Nature  waits    anxiously   for 
the  hoped-for  baptism  of  autumn  rain. 

Eight  days  (the  "  octave  ',)  previous  to  the  Festa, 

the  benighted  stranger  in  Capri  will  be  aroused   from 

his  slumbers  at  4  o'  clock  in  the  morning  by  the  most 

furious  cannonade,  of  what  appears  to  his  half-awakened 

sense,  heavy  artillery.     He  will  spring  up  horrified,  and 

hurry  to  the  window ,  expecting  to  see   the   indistinct 

forms  of  ironclads,  looming  up  in  the  misty  half  light. 

The  sea  appears  calm,  placid,   and   peaceful :   still  the 

roar  of  the  artillery  continues.     Each  discharge  seems 

louder  :  the  boom  is  tossed  from  hill  to  hill.     Evidently 

the  gunners  are  warming  to  their  work.    At  last  with 

one  terrific  blast  the  climax  is  reached,  the  echoes  die 

reluctantly  away,  and  again  a  perfect  calm  settles  down 

on  the  quiet  island,  while  a  cloud  of  smoke  rolls  down 

the  wind.    The  benighted  stranger  with   beating   heart 

returns  to  bed,  and  possibly  to  sleep,  to  learn  later  in 

the  day  that  this  is  the    Capri    manner   of  ushering  in 

with  due  decorum  the  "  octave  "  of  the  Festa  of  their 

patron  saint. 

Here  it  is  well  to  note  that  San  Costanzo  is  as 
exacting  as  a  modern  potentate.  If  from  motives  of 
economy,  or  spiritual  lukewarmness  on  the  part  of  his 
humble  subjects ,  he  is  deprived  of  a  tittle  of  his 
ceremonial  rights ,  he  will  show  his  resentement  and 
annoyance  by  sending  on  the  penurious  islanders  rain 
and  wind,  that  will  drown  and  lay  low  their  vines,  and 
if  their  shortcomings  are  very  marked ,  he  may  even 
visited  them  with  the  much-dreaded  blight ,  which  in 
Capri  spells  ruin. 


Solemn  mass  is  held  at  9°  clock  in  the  morning 
on  the  great  day  itself,  and  the  church  of  San  Stefano 
is  packed  to  its  fullest  capacity  with  throngs  of  the 
devout ,  and  observant  groups  of  critical,  sharp-eyed 
tourists  —  alas !  how  seldom  in  sympathy  with  the  charm 
of  the  scene ,  and  the  touching  lesson  of  faith  to  be 
learned  from  these  simple  peasants !  Mass  ends:  then, 
with  loud  clangour  of  not  discordant  bells  slowly  issue 
from  the  church,  with  downcast  eye  and  measured  pace, 
two  by  two,  "  the  maidens  of  Mary  "  —  "  Figlie  di 
Maria  "  —  robed  all  in  white ,  save  for  the  blue  veil 
reaching  below  the  waist,  which  scarce  conceals  the 
glory  of  luxuriant  locks ,  ranging  from  raven  black  to 
auburn  red.  With  deliberate  step  they  descend  the 
broad  cathedral  steps,  pressing  the  perfume  from  a 
dainty  carpet ,  formed  of  scented  rose  leaves ,  and  the 
vivid  yellow  petal  of  the  broom.  Softly  they  tread 
twixt  rows  of  worshippers ,  the  men  bare-headed ,  and 
the  girls  on  bended  knee ,  their  leaders  tiny  tottering 
babes  of  three  or  four,  who  sway  and  cling  together, 
as  they  walk.  To  be  permitted  to  bear  the  badge  of 
Mary'  s  daughters  is  a  high  honour  to  the  budding 
motherhood  of  Capri  girls,  and  Woe!  to  the  maiden, 
should  the  sharp-eyed  Parroco  detect  her  in  unlicensed 
kiss,  or  pressure  of  the  hand,  or  even  in  the  less  dread 
sin  of  "  occhio  di  pesce  "  (making  eyes) ,  for  surely 
and  without  appeal  she  will  forfeit  for  a  time  at  least 
the  blue  ribbon,  (not  that  of  the  Turf,)  which  is  sign  of 
highest  chastity,  and  magnet  to  the  wife-seeking  bachelor. 

Next  in  the  train ,  contrast  and  balance  to  the 
preceding  visions  of  undeveloped  loveliness,  march  two 
by  two  the  sturdy  manhood  of  the  town ,  Brothers  of 

308  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRF 

Saint  Filippo  Neri ,  mostly  men  of  middle  life ,  some 
verging  to  gnarled  old  age.  Hardy  fishermen  are  here, 
with  faces  tanned  by  frequent  contact  with  the  baffling 
gales,  and  patient  tillers  of  the  soil,  laborious  "  conta- 
dinas  "  ,  their  backs  bowed  by  frequent  study  of  the 
vine ,  nut-brown  their  faces  ,  but  with  less  of  daring  , 
more  endurance  in  their  gaze.  All  these  are  clad  in 
gowns  of  white,  and  carry  in  their  hands  huge  candles. 
Behind  them  march  the  elders  of  the  brotherhood  , 
distinguished  by  rich  hoods  of  gold  and  black,  embla- 
zoned on  their  breast  a  bleeding  heart.  And  all  the 
while  the  bells  clang  their  loudest  and  their  gayest  from 
neighbouring  belfry,  the  ungrudging  sun  gilds  the  scene 
with  his  staunch  allegiance,  and  a  constant  rain  of 
scented  petals  of  the  rose  and  broom  flutter  down  from 
terrace  and  from  roof,  alighting  softty,  and  with  equal 
willingness  ,  on  the  curly  head  of  childhood  ,  and  the 
scanty  grizzled  locks  of  age.  The  patron  Saint  himself, 
the  dimax  and  the  zenith  of  the  scene  will  soon  ap- 
pear, and  by  his  rare  presence  dazzle  alike  the  eye  of 
sceptic  and  devout.  But  first  we  see  a  score  of  bright- 
faced  acolytes,  swinging  their  silver  censers  right  and 
left:  to  them  succeed  a  phalanx  of  portly  priests,  gor- 
geous in  rare  old  lace,  and  robes  of  purple,  red,  and 
violet,  chanting  with  might  and  main  appropriate  paeans 
to  their  saintly  patron.  Then,  borne  aloft  by  four 
well-practised  athletes,  heboid  !  the  saint  himself,  a  noble 
figure  formed  of  beaten  silver ,  vested  in  pontifical 
robes.  In  his  left  hand  he  holds  a  staff,  and  book  with 
two  metallic  bambini:  with  his  right  hand  he  bestows 
on  all  around  the  benediction  —  sure  presage  of  a 
prosperous  year  to  come.     Today  upon  his  silver  coun- 


tenance  there  seems  to  lurk  a  smile  of  self-content,  for 
ail  goes  weli,  tlie  sun  is  bright,  the  faithful  have  been 
liberal  in  their  gifts,  nfew  banners  flutters  in  his  honour, 
a  band  from  Naples  has  arrived  to  "  do  him  proud  ", 
and  their  strains  fall  gratefully  upon  his  complacent 
silver  ears. 

Close  behind  the  saint  a  canopy  of  white  and  scar- 
let silk  is  borne.  Beneath  its  shade  majestically  paces, 
second  only  to  the  saint  himself,  Monsignor  the  Bishop 
of  Sorrento,  supported  by  our  worthy  Sindaco  ,  his 
massive  middle  cinctured  with  a  broad  sash  of  red  and 
green  and  white,  a  noble  field  his  country's  colours  to 

When  the  saint  reaches  the  Piazza,  he  is  greeted 
by  a  rattle  of  platoon  firing:  the  flame  rushes  from 
roof  to  roof:  dreadful  the  noise,  blinding  the  smoke. 
The  riflemen  fire  wildly,  and  scarce  take  aim,  while 
from  the  park  (villa)  below,  salvoes  of  heavy  guns 
follow  each  other  crescendo.  Now  the  procession  amid 
much  smoke  and  roar,  the  swaying  of  the  saint,  the 
chanting  of  the  priests,  and  clangour  of  church  bells, 
slowly  wends  its  way  down  the  Marina  steps,  to  con- 
sign the  saint  in  safety  in  the  old  basilica,  which  bears 
his  name. 

To  us,  who  watch  from  shady  vantage  ground  , 
this  is  perhaps  the  memory  that  lingers  with  us  long- 
est, when  the  horizon  of  our  vision  may  be  bounded 
by  chimney-pots,  or  saffron  fog  clouds.  Surely  some 
giant  spinner  has  thought  fit  to  weave  and  wind  along 
the  curving  snowy  road  a  ribbon,  broad  and  long,  the 
colours  blended  with  harmonious  skill  ,  of  white  and 
every  shade  of    blue,  that  colour-experts  can  discrimi- 

310  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

nate.  So  down  the  white  smooth  road  winds  this 
colour-scheme,  amidst  the  distant  chanting  of  the  attend- 
ant priests,  and  rolling  clouds  of  fleecy  smoke. 

At  night  the  middle  of  the  Piazza  is  the  scene  of 
a  most  excellent  and  creditable  display  of  fireworks, 
all  made  on  the  spot  by  the  local  genius  ,  the  official 
"  fuocista  "  of  the  island,  in  appearance  rather  like 
Guy  Fawkes.  There  are  a  number  of  set  pieces,  and 
a  liberal  discharge  of  rockets  and  fire  balloons.  Although 
the  space  available  in  the  Piazza  is  extremely  limited  , 
no  accident  ever  occurs.  The  people  sit  undisturbed 
at  the  little  marble-topped  tables,  eating  their  ices,  sip- 
ping their  vermouth,  and  inhaling  their  "  tuscani  \ 
amid  a  shower  of  sparks  from  the  fireworks  exploding 
a  couple  of  yards  away:  but  nobody  is  ever  hurt, 
though  there  is  a  legend  that  once  an  old  "  forestiere  " 
lady  had  the  misfortune  to  have  her  wig  burned ! 

And  we  who  know  and  love  these  simple  graceful 
kindly  folk,  so  full  of  faith,  so  prone  to  joy  and  cheer- 
fulness, so  sensitive  to  brilliancy  of  colour  and  har- 
mony of  sound,  we  learn  in  time  to  reverence  and 
respect  their  colour-schemes,  which,  while  they  keep 
alive  their  faith,  provide  happy  sinless  holidays,  untaint- 
ed by  sordid  grossness  and  untouched 'by  licence. 

Exploration  of  Blue  Grotto  by  Kopisch  and  Pagano. 

(Written  by^Mrs.  Wolffsohn) 

Far  back  in  the  Twenties  of  Victoria's  reign  when 
the  island  was  uncrowded  by  world-trotters;  when  its 
maidens  married  the  fisherfolk ,  and  never  thought  of 
running  after  foreign  artists  and  wandering  "  my  lords  % 
there  was  rediscovered  the  now  famous  grotto,  whose 
existence  was  indeed  known,  but  whose  character  was 
uncanny;  for  legend  hung  about  the  gloomy  cave,  and 
the  fisherman,  as  he  rapidly  rowed  past  the  minute 
opening  in  the  mighty  cliff,  shuddered  as  he  gazed, 
half  expecting  to  see  some  fearful  monster  issue 

It  was  in  the  summer  of  1826  that  an  Austrian 
artist ,  Mr.  August  Kopisch  ,  arrived  with  his  friend 
Ernest  Fries,  at  Capri.  The  travellers  took  up  their  abode 
in  the  small  white-washed  Inn  kept  by  Don  Giuseppe 
Pagano,  the  town  notary,  and  ancestor  of  the  present 
family  of  that  name.  In  the  course  of  conversation 
between  the  travellers  and  their  host,  their  curiosity  was 
aroused  by  hearing,  that  one  of  the  numerous  caverns 
in  the  island  was    said  to  be  haunted    by    evil  spirits; 

312  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

that  years  ago  two  priests  decided  to  venture  in  and 
exorcise  these  demons,  and  actually  swam  a  little  way 
into  the  grotto,  but  seized  with  fear  they  hastily  made 
their  exit,  and  no  one  since  then  had  braved  its  terrors. 
Some  years  ago  a  fisherman  was  busy  close  to  the  cliff; 
the  morning  was  so  fine  and  still,  that  he  could  see 
the  stones  and  shells  and  seaweed  fifty  feet  below,  at 
the  bottom  of  the  water.  All  at  once  a  shoal  of  fish 
that  had  been  playing  in  the  transparent  waves  darted 
away,  leaving  one  which  began  to  swim  round  and 
round  rising  higher  and  higher,  untill  it  seemed  as  big 
as  a  man.  The  fisherman  poised  his  harpoon  as  the 
fish  rose,  while  its  body  kept  changing  from  red  to 
green,  and  its  eyes  flashing  green  and  red.  Never  had 
the  fisherman  seen  such  a  creature  and  he  began  to  be 
alarmed,  but  instead  of  breathing  a  prayer,  he  threw 
his  harpoon  at  the  fish  "  in  the  devil's  name  \  The 
harpoon  struck  the  fish  in  the  neck  and  the  sea  was 
immediately  so  stained  with  blood,  that  nothing  could 
be  distinguished.  Feeling  the  line  attached  to  the  har- 
poon grow  slack,  the  fisherman  believed  the  fish  was 
dead.  He  drew  it  up,  and,  lo,  the  harpoon  came  out 
of  the  water  without  its  prey,  the  iron  handle  looking 
as  if  it  had  been  melted  by  fire.  In  a  panic  the  fish- 
errnan  seized  his  oars  and  endeavored  to  escape, 
but  his  boat  only  turned  round  and  round,  as  the 
fish  had  done.  At  last  the  boat  stood  still,  and  out  of 
the  waves  rose  a  bleeding  man,  with  the  prong  of  the 
harpoon  still  sticking  in  his  neck.  He  shook  his  fist 
at  the  fisherman,  who  sank  fainting  into  the  bottom  of 
the  boat,  which  eventually  drifted  ashore  at  the  Grande 
Marina.    For  days  the  poor   man  lay    speechless,  but 


on  the  fourth  day  he  recovered,  and  related  his  ad- 
venture. But  now  a  curious  thing  happened.  His  right 
hand  began  to  wither  like  a  dead  leaf,  then  his  arm 
and  next  all  his  other  limbs.  Last  of  all  his  head  and 
body  shrank,  and  he  died.  His  corpse  did  not  look 
like  that  of  a  man;  but  a  dried  root  in  an  apothecary's 
shop.  Other  legends  of  the  grotto  were  related;  that 
fire  and  smoke  had  been  seen  issuing  from  the  en- 
trance; that  creatures  like  crocodiles  crept  in  and  out; 
that  every  day  the  opening  expanded  and  contracted 
seven  times;  that  at  night  the  Sirens  sang  sweetly  in 
the  grotto;  that  cries  like  those  of  infants  were  heard 
mingled  with  moans  and  groans.  Others  related,  how 
young  fishermen  who  had  ventured  near  the  entrance 
had  disappearred,  and  never  been  seen  again;  and  that 
the  grotto  was  full  of  human   bones ! 

In  spite  of  all  these  horrors,  the  two  foreigners,  Don 
Giuseppe  aud  his  boy  of  twelve  years  old  ,  started  on 
an  expedition  to  explore  the  grotto.  Two  large  tubs, 
a  basket  of  provisions,  a  caldron  of  pitch,  a  lantern, 
some  buckets,  ropes  and  other  things  were  packed  into 
a  boat,  while  the  adventurers,  their  number  increased  by 
Angelo  Ferraro,  an  experienced  old  fisherman,  with  a 
face  the  colour  of  cinnamon,  and  a  donkey  driver, 
named  Michele  Federico,  embarked  in  a  large  boat 
and  t6wed  the  other  after  them.  As  they  rowed  past  the 
gigantic  cliffs,  the  two  foreigners  began  to  take  off  their 
clothing.  The  party  grew  silent,  as  they  neared  the 
grotto,  where  tjie  oars  were  unshipped  and  the  boats 
lay  still.  In  and  out  of  the  narrow  opening  ebbed  and 
flowed  the  sapphire  water.  Don  Giuseppe  Pagano  had 
grown  very    pensive.    Mr.  Kopisch  ordered  Angelo  to 

314  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

kindle  the  pitch,  and  soon  it  boiled  and  flamed  mer- 
rily. Meanwhile  Don  Giuseppe  had  reluctantly  removed 
his  clothing,  and  now  stood  hesitating  on  the  side  of 
the  boat ,  but  Mr.  Kopisch  gave  him  a  push,  and  over 
he  went  in  the  water,  to  rise  the  next  moment  puffing 
and  blowing.  After  him  jumped  the  two  strangers,  and 
Angelo  entered  one  of  the  tubs  and  pushing  the  other, 
in  which  he  had  placed  the  pitch  caldron  before  him, 
he  paddled  towards  the  grotto.  Soon  he  was  in  the  nar- 
row archway,  hauling  himself  along  by  the  walls.  The 
smoke  from  the  boiling  pitch  nearly  blinded  the  swim- 
mers who  followed,  and  on  entering  the  cave  they  could 
distinguish  nothing  but  fire  and  smoke ,  where  Angelo 
was  feeling  his  way  along  the  sides.  By  and  by  Mr. 
Kopisch  discerned  the  figures  of  Don  Giuseppe  and  his 
friend  Ernst  Fries,  who  were  turning  back.  They  seemed 
to  be  enveloped  in  blue  flames,  and  he  himself  felt 
as  though  he  were  swimming  in  an  infinite  blue 
sky.  He  called  to  his  friends.  *  Come  back!  come 
back !  were  there  nothing  in  this  grotto  but  this  divine 
water,  it  would  still  be  a  wonder  of  the  world!  Come 
back,  1  say.  Here  are  neither  demons  nor  sharks,  but 
a  beauty  of  color  that  canot  be  equalled !    * 

Angelo  ,  with  his  caldron  ,  presently  reached  the 
back  of  the  grotto  where  a  landing-place  was  found. 
The  cave  at  that  point  seemed  to  penetrate  the  moun- 
tain; "  This  must  be  the  secret  passage  of  Tiberius !  " 
exclaimed  Don  Giuseppe.  Mr.  Kopisch  took  the  lighted 
lantern  from  Angelo,  and  went  forward.  Stalactites 
hung  from  the  roof,  and  at  every  step  the  rocks  chang- 
ed their  form.  All  at  once  Kopisch  started.  He  had 
seen    a  skeleton  !   But  it   proved  to   be  only  a  white 


stalactite.  Suddenly  he  saw  his  own  shadow  at  his 
side.  He  turned  and  saw  a  small  opening  in  the  rock 
through  which  shone  the  light  from  the  entrance  oi  the 
large  grotto.  He  called  to  his  companions  that  he 
had  found  traces  of  human  handiwork,  and  they  climbed 
after  him.  From  the  little  opening  the  view  was  mag- 
nificent. A  great  deep  basin,  vaulted  by  a  lofty  roof 
studded  with  stalactites,  walled  by  fantastic  rocks;  paved 
with  a  blue  liquid  sky,  the  blue  light  of  which,  was 
reflected  on  the  roof.  Along  the  deep  red  border 
deposited  by  innumerable  marine  animals  on  the  rocks 
at  the  sea  level,  the  ripples  broke  and  sparkled  in  the 
colors  of  a  million  jewels,  only  through  the  narrow 
entrance  a  band  of  light,  trembled  like  moonlight  ,  on 
the  surface  of  the  water,  and  from  below  rose  the 
indescribable  blue  reflections.  Enchanted  with  all  they 
saw,  the  strangers  swam  to  the  boats  to  fetch  drawing 
materials,  and  returning  seated  themselves  at  the  little 
crevice,  and  held  the  lantern  for  each  other,  while  ac- 
complishing two  sketches  of  the  scene. 

Then  Don  Giuseppe  swam  out  of  the  grotto  , 
and  perceived  the  proprietor  of  this  part  of  the  island, 
standing  on  a  point  of  rock,  gazing  at  them  with  open 
mouth.  He  had  heard  the  shouting,  and  had  climbed 
down  the  precipice  like  a  goat,  to  a  point  of  rock  , 
and  now  called  to  the  notary  to  ask  the  cause  of  the 
outcry.  "  The  Devil  is  in  the  grotto  ^  shouted  Don 
Giuseppe,  as  he  swam  to  the  boats.  "  Go  in  yourself 
"  and  see  what  kind  of  fellow  he  is !  *,  he  shouted 
again,  as  he  drew  on  his  shirt.  The  astonished  pro- 
prietor took  courage  ,  plunged  into  the  sea,  and  swam 
into  the  grotto.    He  was  still  more  astonished  when  he 

316  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

perceived    the  foreigners.  "    How   did  you  dare  ?  "  he 
cried.     "  I  was  born  here;  the  property  belongs  to  me, 
yet  never  would    I  have    ventured   in    had    some   one 
not    entered    before    me.    You    foreigners    must  have 
hearts  of  stone   and    iron  "  !  he    cried.    The  sketches 
were  finished;  Mr.  Kopisch  took   the   lantern,  and  the 
whole    party   proceeded   to    explore   the   place    thor- 
oughly ,    turning  first   to  the  left  through   a  labyrinth 
of  passages.    This  portion  of  the  grotto    had  also  an 
opening  into  the  larger  one.     Retracing  their  steps,  the 
explorers   proceeded    to  the  right,  and   found  another 
small    passage ,   in   which    was    a    heap    of  masonry. 
*  This  must    contain  a    heap  of    treasure,    and    it    is 
mine  " !  cried  the  proprietor,  and  threw   himself  upon 
it,  but  there  was  nothing.    Mr.  Kopisch  observed,   that 
when  he  happened  to  hold   the   lantern    low  down,   it 
burned  badly.     "  This  is  uncanny  ^  remarked  the  pro- 
prietor, "  let  us  go  back  ".  It  is  only  foul  air,  said  Kop- 
isch »  and  he  pointed  to  a  white  mist,  hovering   on  the 
ground.    The  Capresi  called  to  Kopisch  to  return,  and 
set  the  example.     But   all  were    rather   alarmed,  when 
they  found  they  had  lost  their   way.    They  were  in   a 
far  wider  passage  than  that  by  which  they   had  come. 
Placing  a  heap  of  loose  stones,  to  mark  the  place  Kop- 
isch  urged  the  others  to    explore   this    new   passage; 
but  suddenly  the  light  in  the  lantern  went  out,  and  left 
them  in  total  darkness.  "  We  shall  starve  here  ",  cried 
Ernst   Fries ,  "  we  shall    never   find    the    way  out  "  ! 
and  the   others   began    to    mutter   prayers.    Kopisch  , 
feeling  himself  responsible  for  the  safety  of    the  party, 
begged  them  to  keep  calm.     One  of  them    must  stand 
still  ,  while  the  others   tried   to   find  the  way,  keeping 


in  touch  by  calling  to  each  other  continually.  They 
had  decided  upon  this,  when  all  at  once  a  howl,  like 
that  of  a  wild  beast,  reached  their  ears.  *  Thank 
the  Madonna !  That  is  Angelo's  voice  ",  cried  Michele, 
"  He  is  really  an  Angel  *,  laughed  Kopisch,  "  he  is  not 
far  off,  we  shall  certainly  find  him  ".  And  so  they 
did.  They  followed  the  sound  of  the  voices,  and  soon 
reached  the  place,  whence  they  had  taken  the  sketches. 

After  the  intense  darkness  in  which  they  had  been, 
the  wonder  of  the  grotto  seemed  doubly  beautiful,  and 
they  all  greeted  Angelo,  who  was  paddling  around  in 
his  tub,  with  shouts  of  *  Eviva  ' !  He  had  been  anxious, 
and  thought  they  had  met  with  an  accident.  The 
foreigner  plunged  with  joy  into  the  liquid  azure,  the 
surface  of  which  was  slightly  agitated,  for  a  fresh  breeze 
had  sprung  up  outside.  Angelo  urged  the  party  to 
leave  at  once,  if  they  wanted  to  get  out.  They  gathe- 
red all  their  things  into  the  tub  and  swam  out.  The 
Capresi  now  considered  themselves  heroes.  "  How  the 
people  in  Capri  will  stare  ",  cried  Michele,  as  he  took 
the  oars. 

After  an  adventurous  trip,  they  landed  at  the  Grande 
Marina,  to  be  received  with  admiration,  and  somewhat 
of  awe  by  the  population,  who  fully  believed  that  they 
had  comejrom  the  "  house  of  the  Devil  ^  in  the 
private  room  of  Don  Giuseppe,  the  family  assembled 
to  congratulate  the  foreign  guests,  who,  by  their  ad- 
venture had  enriched  Capri  with  a  wonder  and  a  charm, 
which,  in  future  years,  was  to  attract  to  the  island  an 
ever-increasing  flood  of  foreign  visitors.  After  supper 
a  grand  discussion  took  place  as  to  what  name  should 
be  given  to  the  grotto.     Don  Giuseppe  wished  it  to  be 

318  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

called  "  The  Kopisch  Grotto  ",  after  his  guest,  but  fin- 
ally it  was  decided  to  christen  it  "  La  Grotta  Azzurra  ', 
the  •  Blue  Grotto  "  ,  the  name  which  it  has  ever 
since  born. 

The  charm  of  terror,  the  legend  and  loneliness  have 
vanished;  the  grotto  often  echoes  to  vulgar  sounds, 
and  no  one  fears  to  enter  it;  but  the  charm  of  divine 
color,  and  of  nature  in  one  of  its  most  fantastic  as 
well  as  loveliest  forms,  remains  to  gladden  the  hearts 
of  men,  who  come  from  all  over  the  world  to  ad- 
mire the  place  which  has  acquired  such  far-spread 

"  Capri  versus  Anacapri  " 

(Adele  Schaefer) 

Every  body  knows  Antonio.  He  sits  in  a  little 
natural  niche,  just  under  the  statue  of  the  Madonna, 
on  the  road  to  Anacapri.  He  is  a  beggar  now,  though 
I  don't  think  he  makes  much  by  it.  There  are  two 
sorts  of  beggars;  the  whining  beggar  and  the  cheerful 
beggar,  some  people  are  touched  by  a  smiling  and 
hopeful  attitude,  while  others  give  to  the  beggar  who 
keeps  up  a  sing-song  whine,  which  is  heard  a  hundred 
yards  away.  It  is  all  a  matter  of  taste;  "  de  gustibus 
non  disputandum  \  though  for  my  parti  like  giving  ot 
the  cheerful  ones.  But  Antonio  is  one  of  the  other 
sort;  he  makes  a  decidedly  determined  and  brigandish 
dash  at  one's  carriage,  and  decides  one  instantly  in  fav- 
our of  the  smilling  humble  old  person,  who  sits  a 
few  yards  farther  on. 

But  Antonio  was  an  old  friend;  long  before  he 
took  up  begging  as  a  profession,  he  alway  had  the 
instincts  for  it,  and  would  invariably  manage  to  get  a 
glass  of  wine  because  "  he  was  so  hot  *,  or,  "  because 
the  day  was  so  cold  ",  as  the  case  might  be,  when 
he  brought  me  down  fresh  eggs  from  Anacapri. 

320  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

But  Antonio  has  had  a  sad  history,  so  perhaps 
allowances  should  be  made  for  him.  One  day,  when 
his  heart  had  been  warmed  with  a  glass  of  **  Capri 
rosso  ",  and  -a  pipeful  of  English  tobacco,  he  took  me 
into  his  confidence,  so  far  as  to  tell  me  his  history.  I 
had  heard  it  before,  but  his  version  threw  a  new  light 
on  the  subject.  Perhaps  he  hadn't  been  so  much  to 
blame  after  all? 

He  began  by  telling  me  that,  he  had  been  a  ""  bello 
giovane  ".  Perhaps  he  realized  that  I  never  should 
have  known  it  otherwise,  or  he  may  have  been  philos- 
opher enough  to  have  come  to  the  conclusion  that, 
when  one  is  goodlooking,  lots  of  things  happen  to  one, 
which  would   not  occur  otherwise. 

He  is  very  brown  and  wrinkled  now,  but  his  eyes, 
though  not  beautiful,  are  still  very  blue.  His  father 
had  a  small  vineyard,  and  he  helped  to  gather  the  grapes 
and  olives;  and  when  the  quails  fluttered  on  to  the 
broom  covered  hills,  after  their  long  flight  of  three 
hundred  miles,  across  the  sea  from  Africa,  or,  when 
they  made  the  island  their  first  halting  place,  when 
they  came,  fat  and  plump,  after  a  summer  in  the  north, 
on  their  way  to  the  south,  Antonio  would  wander  over 
the  mountain  in  the  hope  of  getting  a  few  to  sell  to 
the  "   foreigners  ". 

In  the  vineyard  next  to  his  father's,  there  was  a 
charming  little  maid,  as  brown  as  a  quail  and  as  plump, 
who  used  to  chatter  and  sing  as  continually  as  a  locust 
on  a  hot  summer  day.  Antonio  used  to  talk  to  her 
across  the  low  stone  wall  which  divided  the  vineyards, 
and  once,  he  brought  her  a  red  clove  pink  and  a  sprig 
of  "  cedra  ";  she  got  as  red  as  if  the  last  rays  of  the 


setting  sun  had  shone  on  her.  Antonio  saw  the  won- 
der, and  saw  that  it  was  his  doing,  and  was  glad,  and 
he  soon  after  asked  her  to  be  his  "  anamorata  \ 
Angeh'na  wore  the  sunsetglow  on  her  smooth  brown 
cheeks  nearly  all  the  time  after  that;  there  was  no  need 
for  her  and  Antonio  to  wait  long  before  being  married. 
Angelina,  like  all  island  girls  ,  had  begun  before  she 
was  ten  yars  old,  to  spin  and  Weave  the  flax  for  her 
wedding  linen,  and  to  crochet  the  lace,  with  which  to 
adorn   her  trousseau. 

And  so  they  were  married;  she  and  Antonio  felt 
like  a  king  and  queen,  as  they  were  pelted  with  wheat, 
confetti,  rose-leaves,  and  small  bronze  coins,  all  the 
way  to  the  tiny  house  which  they  had  prepared.  An- 
tonio couldn't  find  words  with  which  to  express  how 
happy  they  were;  Angelina  was  such  a  good  little  wife, 
and  so  helpful  during  the  vintage.  Antonio  wishes  I 
could  have  just  seen  her,  with  a  bright  yellow  handker- 
chief around  her  neck,  and  a  great  basket  of  purple 
grapes  on  her  head.  She  was,  in  fact,  just  like  a  pic- 
ture !  And  surely  no  one  ever  looked  half  so  pretty, 
with  her  black  eyes  and  white  teeth  flashing  out  of  the 
gloom  of  the  dark  old  cellar,  where  the  wine  was 

One  day  the    niece  of  a  neighboring  vine  grower 

came  up  from  Capri.    She  was  a  pretty  girl  with  fair, 

fair  hair,  and  eyes  blue  like  the  sea,  only  one    was  a 

little  crooked,  not  much,  but  there  it  was,  and  she  had 

a  limp  also.    Oh,  yes  it  was    a  pity,  such  a  beautiful 

girl !     Well !    Antonio  often  met  her  on  the  steps,  and 

it  was  only    natural    that   they    should    walk  together. 

What  would  I  wish  ?    That  he  should  have  run  on  ahead, 


322  THE   BOOK   OF  CAPRI 

and  left  her  as  if  he  had  seen  an  evil  spirit  ?  Not 
at  all,  he  was  too  kind  to  let  a  poor  girl  feel  her  mis- 
fortune in  that  way.  But  Angelina,  ah,  she  was  differ- 
ent! She,  thought  nothing  too  bad  for  a  Capri  girl, 
and  told  Antonio  that  he  was  a  stupid  not  to  listen 
to   her. 

And  so  it  went  on;  when  Angelina  found  her 
earthly  Antonio  wouldn't  listen  to  her,  she  went  to 
the  small  chapel  on  the  old  steps,  which  is  dedicated 
to  the  heavenly  St.  Antonio,  and  gave  a  candle,  and 
made  a  prayer  to  the  effect  that,  her  earthly  Antonio 
might  be  changed.  And  from  the  chapel  she  often 
used  to  see  him  passing  by  with  the  Capri  girl.  At 
last  she  got  angry  with  St  Antonio  and  her  own  An- 
tonio, and  told  them  both,  in  nearly  the  same  terms, 
that  it  had  got  to  stop.  Her  black  eyes  flashed  with 
the  wildest  jealousy,  and  the  sunset  glow  used  to  come 
and  go  on  her  cheek  with  brilliant  flashes. 

One  day  Antonio  went  to  shoot  quail  on  the 
mountain;  if  Angelina  insisted,  he  didn't  mind  showing 
her  that  he  wasn't  at  all  anxious  to  haunt  the  old  steps; 
and  Angelina  went  to  cut  grass  for  their  cow. 

Her  sack  was  only  half  full,  and  she  had  cut  all 
there  was  near,  so  she  went  over  to  the  hill,  where 
the  old  ruin  of  Barbarossa's  castle  shelters  the  greenest 
and  longest  grass.  When  she  got  to  the  ruin,  she  saw 
Serafina,  the  Capri  girl,  sitting  in  the  shade  of  a  wall, 
knitting.  Oh,  yes,  it  was  quite  plain  that  she  was  wait- 
ing for  some  one !  Angelina  scrambled  to  the  edge 
of  the  cliff,  and  called  to  her  to  know  who  she  was 
waiting  for.  Serafina,  all  in  a  moment,  got  as  angry 
as  possible,  and  rushed  towards  Angelina,  and  insisted 


on  her  speaking  more  plainly.  Angelina  told  her  sus- 
picions ,  and  Serafina  rushed  at  her  like  a  tiger-cat. 
Antonio  wasn't  there,  he  didn't  know  how  the  devil  ar- 
ranged it,  but  his  poor  little  Angelina  feel  back  over 
the  cliff  on  to  the  road  below,  just  near  the  statue 
of  the  Madonna, 

Poor  Angelina  1  She  had  a  beautiful  funeral;  all 
the  priests  in  the  parish  walked  behind  her,  and  all  her 
friends  threw  rose  leaves,  confetti  and  small  bronze 
coins  on  to  the  pink  coffin,  just  as  they  had  done  on 
her  wedding  day.  And  Serafina  ?  "  poveretta !  "  But 
she  well  deserved  it !  She  was  taken  down  to  the  steam- 
er with  a  carabiniere  on  either  side ,  and  all  the  little 
boys  and  people  ran  after  her,  and  threw  stones  and 
mud  at  her,  and  she  went  limping  down  the  road,  just 
glancing  back  with  her  crooked  eye,  and  declaring  she 
was   innocent ! 

But  that  was  over  thirty  years  ago,  and  she  is  still 
in  prison;  so  she  must  have  been  guilty  after  all. 


The  following  notice,  by  Prof.  Rudolfo  Lanciani  in 
his  **  Notes  from  Rome  ",  occurs  in  "  The  Atheneum  " 
of  Feb.  17,  1906  in  reference  to  the  recent  important 
and  suggestive  discovery  made  by  Dr.  1.  Cerio  in 

"  it  is  a  know  fact  that,  Augustus,  the  founder  of 
the  Empire,  was  a  palae-ethnologist,  a  student  of  prehis- 
toric remains.  The  "  res  vetustae  ac  raritates  notabi- 
les  "  which  he  found  in  the  caverns  of  the  island  of 
Capri,  are  described  by  Suetonius  (Aug.  72)  as  "  bones 
of  giants  ",  that  is  to  say,  of  fossil  monsters,  and  as 
"  arma  heroum  ",  weapons  of  men  living  in  past  ages, 
which  is  a  tolerably  good  definition.  The  researches 
of  Augustus  are  earned  on  at  the  present  day  by  a 
local  physician,  to  whom  we  are  indebted  for  the  fol- 
lowing discovery.  At  a  place  adjoining  the  Eremitag- 
gio,  and  at  the  bottom  of  a  deep  trench,  he  has  found 
bones  of  rhinoceros  and  other  animals,  and  stone 
hammers  of  the  roughest  make,  some  of  which  weigh 
six  pounds.  Bones  and  hammers  are  buried  in  a  layer 
of  reddish  clay — probably  the  bottom  of  a  lake  marsh — 
which  rests  on  the  limestone  core  of  the  island,  and 
which  is  covered  in  its  turn  by  a  volcanic  formation 
of  tufa.  This  find  shows  the  correctness  of  the  state- 
ment of  Suetonius.     Had  Augustus  discovered  ordinary 

326  THE   BOOK   OF    CAPRI 

flint  implements  belonging  to  the  age  of  polished  stone, 
the  biographer  would,  as  usual,  have  called  them 
"  gemmas  ceraunias  *,  or  *  lapidesfulminis  "  (lightning 
stones).  By  making  use,  however,  of  the  expression 
"  arma  heroum  *  he  distinctly  alludes  to  the  special 
kind  of  heavy  hammers  just  rediscovered  at  the  Ere- 
mitaggio,  which  belong  to  the  first  representatives  of  the 
human  race  who  ever  set  foot  in  the  beautiful  island  , 
which  was  still  undergoing  the  process  of  geological 
formation  ". 

The  following  is  Dr.  1.  Cerio's  statement  of  the 
nature  and  extent  of  the  recent  discovery  referred  to 
above  by   Prof.   Lanciani : 

"  The  chapter  on  Geology,  written  by  me  for 
"  The  Book  of  Capri  "  had  already  been  completed, 
when  in  the  month  of  September  1905  a  new  discovery 
was  made  in  Capri,  which  is  of  great  geological  and 
palae-ethnological  importance.  Although  1  briefly  called 
attention  to  this  discovery  in  the  note  at  page  34, 
some  further  details  may  be  of  interest  to  the  reader. 
Owing  to  the  enlargement  of  the^Quisisana  Hotel,  it 
was  necessary  to  carry  out  extensive  excavations  in 
order  to  reach  the  limestone  rock,  on  which  were  to 
be  laid  the  foundation  walls.  Beneath  a  layer  of  vege- 
table-mold, one  metre  and  eighty  centimetres  in  depth, 
were  found  the  usual  volcanic  deposits,  which  are  dis- 
persed all  over  the  island:  the  depth  of  the  latter  de- 
posits were  about  two  metres,  superimposed  on  beds 
of  brown-red  clay.  This  red  clay  derives  its  colours 
from  a  large  quantity  of  oxide  of  iron  contained  in  it: 
it  is  almost  pure,  and  contains  neither  volcanic  matter 
nor  fragments  of  limestone:  it  varies  in  depth  from  two 


to  five  metres  according  to  the  elevation  or  depression 
ot  the  underlying  limestone  rock,  upon  which  it  rests. 
This  substance  appears  to  owe  its  origin  to  deposits 
usually  found   at  the   bottoms   of   extensive   lakes. 

On  the  surface  of  this  clay  soil,  and  on  its  upper 
layers  —  underneath  the  pozzolana  —  were  found  flint 
and  quartzite  implements  very  roughly  formed,  but  evi- 
dently the  work  of  the  human  hand.  Many  of  these 
implements  were  of  Jarge  dimensions ,  and  oval,  or 
almond  shaped,  bearing  the  character  of  those  typical 
forms  found  at  Chelles,  and  belonging  to  the  most  re- 
mote prehistoric  period  —  called  ChelLeen. 

Scattered  amongst  these  implements  were  bones  of 
vast  size,  being  without  doubt  the  skeletons  of  hippo- 
potami, elephants,  rhinoceros,  stags,  leopards  and  other 
mammalia;  but  alas  !  so  decomposed  were  the  bones  , 
that  it  was  utterly  impossible  to  preserve  any  of  them 
complete.  1  succeeded,  however,  in  saving  several  large 
teeth,  a  link  of  much  importance  in  determining  the 
classification  of  certain  of  those  species  which  are  known 
to  have  existed  at  the  time  when  Capri  formed  part  of 
the  mainland,  and  during  the  paleolithic  period.  That 
the  existence  of  primitive  man  and  animals  (which  have 
since  then  migrated  to  regions  further  south  ,  or  have 
become  extinct  in  many  cases),  was  coeval  during  the 
glacial  period  in  central  and  southern  Europe,  is  an 
established  fact,  and  as  Lartet  says  "  une  verite  desor- 
mairs  inattaquable  et  definitivement  acquise  a  la 
science  ". 

Nothing  of  so  convincing  a  character ,  as  these 
lately  discovered  teeth  and  bones,  has  before  come  to 
light  in  our  province  of  Naples,    most  likely  from   the 

328  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

fact  that  no  accurate  research  has  been  made.  There- 
fore, these  discoveries  on  the  island  of  Capri,  besides 
adding  another  to  the  many  proofs,  that  the  island  up 
to  a  very  recent  geological  period,  joined  the  mainland, 
also  add  the  interesting  suggestion  that,  primitive  man 
watched  the  disintegration  of  an  extensive  continent : 
saw  it  almost  disappear:  saw  the  terrible  conflagration, 
that  scorched  the  Phlegrean  regions:  witnessed  the 
upheaval  of  Ischia,  and  the  phenomenon  of  a  country 
saved  by  the  invasion  of  the  waters  of  the  Mediterra- 
nean, which  was  covered  by  deep  layers  of  volcanic 
material,  which  destroyed  all  life  and  vegetation  then 

I  will  add  that,  at  about  twenty  metres  from  the 
place  where  the  excavations  were  recently  made,  there 
are  extensive  and  imposing  remains  of  Roman  buildings: 
they  seem  to  extend  all  along  the  Via  Tragara;  I  have 
scarcely  any  doubt  that,  it  was  during  the  time  of  the 
digging  of  the  original  foundations  of  those  early  buld- 
ings  that,  were  found  just  such  huge  bones  —  and 
stone  implements,  called  "  bones  of  giants'  and  "  wea- 
pons of  heroes  ^  which  Suetonius  records  that  "  Au- 
gustus liked  to  collect  ^  A  hint  for  us  of  the  first 
reference  to  a  Museum  of  natural  curiosities  existing 
in  Capri  "  ? 


Acarnania,  18. 
Acropolis,  90. 
Addison,  Joseph,  179,  242. 
Agrippina,  77,  79,  83. 
Aiano,  205,  206,  245. 
Airaghi,  30. 
Alfonso  I,  96. 
-      II,  97. 
Altar,  128,  129,  156. 
Alvino,  5,  140,  144. 
Amalfi,  1,  91.  92,  93. 
Anacapri,    4,  5,  13,  16,  30,  31,  97,  102,  103,  131,  135,  136 

193  —  195,  259,  261,  263,  264,  266,  267,  268,  272. 
Andersen,  Hans,  220 
Anemone,  295,  300. 
Antonia,  78. 
Ausonius,  19. 
Apollonius  Rhodius,  18. 
Appian  way,  141. 
Apragopolis,  22,  183. 
Acquaviva,  3. 

Acqueduct,  43,  156,  168,   171,  205. 
Arco  Naturale,  221. 
Arcucci  Dr.  Gennaro,  223. 
Arcucci  Giacomo,  95,  187,  248. 
Area  of  C,  2. 
Argonautica,  18. 

330  THE    BOOK    OF    CAPRI 

Asphodels,  296,  297,  298. 

Athanasius,  91. 

Atripalda,  98. 

Astura,  69. 

Augustus,  5,  18,  21,  24,  49  -  57,  61,  62,  63,  78  ,  83,  112, 

140,  146,  149,  150,  154,  162,  164,  183,  184,  185.  193, 

194,  222. 
Bagni  di  Tiberio,  42,  153-5^^  Palazzo  a  Mare. 
Baldacci,  35. 
Barbarossa,  Castle,  93,  100. 

-  Corsair,  98,  99,  248. 

—  Monte,  2. 

Baring-Gould,  55,  56,  61,  62,  63,  65,  71,  72,  76,  77,  78,79, 

80,  81,  82,  83,  84,  87,  88 
Barometer,  12. 

Bas-reliefs,  147,  151,  166,  168,  194,  222,  223. 
Baths,  169,  180. 
Bernoulli,  87. 
Belli  Francesco,  121. 
—     Tommaso,  121. 
Belfini,  30,  35,  36. 
Bernardo  di  Sarriano,  94. 
"  Bigio  antico  ",  118,  121.  156,  196. 
Birth  rate,  5. 
Blaesus,  27. 

Blue  Grotto,  40,  44,  45,  46.  47.  48.  207—220,  241,  242. 
"  Bocca  piccola  ",  33. 
Bonucci  Antonio,  146.  170. 
Brick-stamps,  164, 
Breadth  of  C,  1. 
Breislak,  29,  216,  237 
British  Museum,  86,  128,  155,  156,  223. 
Broom,  296. 
Brooks,  Ellingham,  303. 

INDEX  331 

Buonaparte  Joseph,  256. 

Bury,  75,  76,  82. 

Caius.  72. 

Caligula,  21,  24,  69,  70,  71,  83,  84,  89. 

Callipides,  61. 

Cameo,  168,  169. 

"  Camerelle  ",  172,  177—180,  206. 

Campanella,  1. 

Campo  Pisco,  197,  269. 

Canale,   17,  96,  145,  189,   190,  191,251,  281. 

Canevaro,  30,  35. 

Capaccio,  215,  216. 

Capo,  lo,  1,  3,  30,  32,  36,  271. 

Capo  di  Monte,  136,  193,  194,  266. 

Capreae,  6,   150 

Caprea,  131. 

Caprineus,  22. 

Caprile,  16. 

Capua.  63,  96. 

Carrara  marble,  116,  117. 

Caserta,  205,  246. 

Castellammare,  1.  261. 

Castiglione.  2,  36,  44,  257,  258,  263,  267. 

—  Thermae,  165  —  170. 

Castellani,  155. 
Cassino,  Monte,  90,  245. 

Caterola,  31.  -^. 

Cava,  29. 

Census,  4.  * 

Ceramio.  93. 
Cerio,  Dr.  I.  27,  29-48,  117,  137,  152,  157,  162,   164,  169, 

170,  196,  200,  223,  225,  230,  238,  239,  301. 
Certosa,  95,  101,  102,  185-187,   248,  271. 
Certosella,  la,  177. 

332  THE  BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Cesina,  32,  258,  267,  269. 

—    Villa,  170,  191. 
Cetrella,  S.  Maria,  2,  258,  268,  269. 
Charicles,  69.  70. 
Charles  of  Anjou,  93,  94. 
Charles,  Archduke  of  Austria,  98. 
Charles,  II,  of  Spain,  102. 
Chevalley  de  Rivaz,  215,  219,  274. 
Chevret,  Capt,  256,  257. 
Chianese,  Leonardo,  253. 
Church,  Capt.  Richard,  136,258,  259,  261,  262,  263,  265,  266, 

"  Cipollino  ",  118,  143,  156,  173,  196,  205,  245. 
Cisterns,  131,  139,  143,  157,  159,  180,  186,  202. 
Cistus,  300. 

Classical  Capri,  17—27. 
Claudian,  19. 
Climate,  9—16,  20. 
Cloaca,  43. 

Cocceius  Nerva,  20,  69. 
Coleman,  C.  C,   173,  196. 
Colletta  Pietro,  259,  260,  263,  264,  268. 
Commodus,  89,  133,  151. 
Concrete,  109,  110. 
Consular  Reports,  2,  4,  7. 
Contrada  Torre,  131,  245. 
Corals,  32. 
Coronilla,  296. 

Corsairs,  89,  90,  98,  100,  101,  102. 
Corsicans,  257,  261,  262,  263,  264,  265,  266. 
Costanzo,  S.  Church  of,  132,  145,  205,  245,  246. 

—  Saint,  147,  248. 

—  Festa  of,  303  —  310. 
Crispina,  24,  89,  133,  151. 

INDEX  333 

Crocus,  295, 

Cumae,  5. 

Cuomo,  Dr.  V,  4,  8,  10,  14,  16. 

Curtius  Atticus,  20,  69. 

Cybele,  155,  222,  223. 

Cyclopean  wall,  137. 

Cyclamen,  295. 

D'Aloe  Stanislaus,  215. 

Damaceuta,  2,  47,  193,  194,  195,  210,  264,  266 

De  Angelis  d'Ossat,  30. 

Death  rate,  4,  5. 

Decrees,  royal,  94,  95,  96,  97,  98,  102 

Derivation  of  name  Capri,  5,  6. 

De  Stefano,  30,  35. 

Di  Lorenzo,  35, 

Dion  Cassius,  24,  89,  133,  151. 

Domitian,  151. 

*   Donna-capri   ",  97. 

Douglass,  Norman,  215,  218,  241. 

Drusus,  23,  60,  62,  72,  78,  79,  146. 

Dubufe,  Mons.  G.  153,  272 

Dumas,  219,  220. 

Earth-movements,  39,  40,  44. 

Electrical  station,  8. 

Emmanuele  Dwersi,  105 . 

English  occupation  of  Capri,  255—275. 

Eocene  period,  33. 

Erosion,  line  of,  40,  41. 

Ewers,  Dr.  Hans  Heinz,  277  —  283. 

Faraglioni,  40,  41,  161,  162,  183. 

Faro,  149—152. 

Favorita  Palace,  166. 

Feola,  29,  137,  146,  147,  149,  152,  156,  157,  163,  164,  169, 
170,  171,  172,  173,  179,  181,  184,  190,  191,  193,  194, 
195,    196,  199,  216,  222,  223,  229,  230,  237,  239,  243. 


Ferdinand  I.,  97. 

—  II.,  97. 

—  IV.,  103,  189. 

Fern  Grotto,  See  Grotta  delle  Felce. 

Ferraro,  Angelo,  216,  217,  218,  313,  314,  317. 

Festa  at  Castiglione,  167,  168. 

Flint  instruments,  38. 

Flora  of  Capri,  105,  222. 

"  Fontane  ^  3. 

Fontana,  43,  157. 

Fossils,  32. 

Francis  I,  201. 

Frederic  of  Aragon,  97. 

French  occupation  of  Capri,  255 — 275. 

Freytag,  85. 

Fries,  Ernst,  218,  311,  316. 

Gaeta,  98,  101,  141. 

Galba,  68. 

Gallo  Bishop,  197,  247. 

Gallo,  Duke,   194, 

Gamboni,  Bishop,  105,  106  . 

Gemellus,  69,  71,  84. 

"  Geographical  Journal  ",  40. 

Geographical  Society,  Royal,  40. 

Geology,  29—48. 

Geological  Museum,  London,  120. 

"  Giallo  antico  ",     118,  145,  156,  166,  170,  173,  197,  201 

205,  245,  246,  247,  252. 
Giannettasio,  N.  P.,  242. 
Gibbon,  91,  92,  93,  94. 
Gibellines,  94. 

Giraldi  Dr.  Luigi,  105,  145,  222.  232. 
Glaciers,  37,  38,   (note). 
Gladeoli.  295. 

INDEX  335 

Governor,  civil,  102,  103,  104,  105,  258. 

-        military,  102,  103,  104,  105. 
Gradella,  1,  272. 
Gradolo,  195. 
Greco,  (wind),  12. 
Greeks,  .5. 

Greek  city  of  Capri,  131. 
Greek  Stairway,  135,  136. 
Gregorovius,  2. 
Gregory  the  Great.  90. 
Grotto  Arsenale,  40,  229  —  232. 

—  Azzurra,  See  Blue  Grotto. 

—  Castiglione,  229,  233—235. 

—  dell'Arco,  30,  237,  238. 

—  della  Felce,  238,  239. 

—  Fern— 5^^  Grotta  della  Felce,  34.  38. 

—  Green,  31. 

—  of  the  Madonna,  30. 

—  Maravigliosa,  277  —  281. 

—  Mitromania,  25. 

.  —      Maria  del  Soccorso,  281,  282,  283. 

—  Oscura,  215,  241     243. 

—  Tiberio,  281,  282,  283. 

—  White.  41,  277. 
Guelphs,  94. 

Giinther  R.  T.,  30,  39,  40,  41,  42. 

Haan,  153. 

Hail,  13. 

Hadrava,  4,  103,  104.  135  145,  151,  152,  155,  156,  159, 
161,  165,  166,  167.  168,  169,  171,  178,  185,  186,  187, 
190,  197,  205,  216,  223,  233,  234.  235,  237,  285. 

Hadrian,    51. 

Hamill.  Major,  196,  262,  264,  265. 

Hamilton  collection,  128,  129,  155.  156. 

336  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Hospital  for  soldiers,   107. 
Hotel  Continental,  44. 

—  Grotte  Bleue,  89,  132. 

—  Quisisana,  34,  177. 
Hubert,  John,  249. 
Humidity,  13. 

Hydrographic  conditions,  3. 
Hypatus,  25,  228. 

Inscriptions,  25,  26,  132,  152,  170,  190,  228. 

Ischia,  1,  11,  18.  35,  37. 

Iris,  300. 

Isis  temple  of,  153. 

Jerome,  T.  Spencer,  17 — 27.  . 

Joanna  I.,  95,  186. 

—  II.,  96.  .     . 
Josephus,  20. 

Jovis,  Villa.  See  Villa  Jovis. 

Julia,  69,  77,  84. 

Julius  Caesar,  87. 

Julian,  19. 

Julia  Augusta,  26,  164. 

Juvenal,  19. 

Kaupo^,  6. 

Kaprajim,  5, 

Kennedy,  Lieut  Ralston,  277,  278. 

Karsten,  30. 

Knocker,  Mrs  Longworth,  291— 301, 

Kheyrd-ed-din,  98,  99,  100. 

Kopisch,  August,  215,  218,  242,  311,  313,  314,  316,  317. 

"  Lacerti  ",  172,  177. 

Ladislaus,  95. 

Lamarque,  General,  196,  261,  270,  271,  273,  274,  275. 

Land— level,  40. 

Lane— Poole,  99,  100. 

IKDEX  337 

Lanciani,  Prof.,  Ill,  121,  U4—m,  164. 

Lapilli,  31,  37. 

Lapislazuli,  147,  197,  253. 

Lead  pipes,   43,  143,  151,  168,  169,  200,  205. 

Length  of  Capri,  1. 

Libeccio  (wind),  12. 

Lighthouse,  19,  23,  142,  149—152. 

Lime-kilns,  125. 

Limestone,  30,  31. 

Lithophagi,  33. 

Li  via,  24,  56,  77,  83.  164. 

Livilla,  56,  69,  84. 

Lowe,  Col.,  190,  258,  261  ,  262,  263,  267,  268,  269,  270, 

271,  273,  274. 
Lucilla,  24.  89,  133,  151. 
Lucullus,  69. 
"  Macigno  ",  31. 
Macro,  70. 
Mackowen,  Col.,  2,  4,  5,  43,  105,  141,  153,  166,  180.  184, 

185,  199,  207,  208,  209,  210,  211,  212,  214,  225,  231, 

Maestrale  (wind),  12. 
Maltese,  262,  264,  266. 
Mangoni,   4,  17,  90,  91,  94,  95,  96,  97,  98,  100,  101,  102, 

103,  105,  106,  132,  136,   145,  152,  161,   169,  170,  186, 

194,  195,  196,  197,  201,  202,  205,  211,  216,  223,  228. 

229,  231,  243,  245,  246,  247. 

Marbles,  destruction  of,  123—129. 

Marbles,  Roman,  115—121. 

Marbles,  removal  of,  123—129. 

Marcello  de  Angelis,  104. 

Marcus  Aurelius  24,  151. 

Marmolata,  31. 

Marina  Grande,  3,  31,  42,  44,  131,  257,  258,  261,  263,  267, 



338  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Marina  Piccola,  3,  31,  43,  44,  229,  237,  258,  261,263,  272. 

Marino,  Doge  of  Amalfi,  91. 

Marrocella,  3. 

Martorana,  219. 

Martorelli,  5,  228. 

Masgabas,  22,  54,  161,  183. 

Masonry,  Roman,  109 — 113. 

Mastrodattia,  97. 

Matromania,  221,  261,  263. 

—  Cala  di,  41,  221. 

—  Scoglio  di,  41. 
Maund,  Cakely,  277,  278. 
Mayor,  86. 

Melloni,  44,  48. 

Mendelssohn,  218. 

Metropolitan  Museum  of  Art.,  New  York,  230, 

Meyer,  Emilio,  135. 

Michele,  S.  Anacapri,  253. 

—  Chapel,  173. 

—  Hill  of    2,  32,  34,  36,  43,  44.  141,  258,  267,  269. 

—  Temple  of,  171—175. 
Middleton,  109,  110,  111,  112,  113,  164. 
Migliara,  31. 

Military  prison,   185. 

Minervino,  Count  of,  95,  186. 

Merivale,  Dean,  55,  57,  65,  66,  76,  149,  150,  151,  158. 

Misenum,  20,  65,  69. 

Mithras,  222,  223,  224,  225,  227, 

-      Cave  of,  221—228. 
Mithraic  worship,  25,  222,  224,  225,  227. 
Monacone,  162,  183,  184. 
Monticello,  193,  194,  195. 
Montorio,  242. 
Morcaldi,  101. 

INDEX  339 

Mulo,  44,  181. 

Munthe,  Dr.  Axel,  195,  255. 

Murat,  Joachim,  259,  160,  170. 

Murrine  vases,  157,  158,  203. 

"  Murrini  ",  See  murrhine  vases. 

Museum,  British,  See  British  Museum. 

Museum  Brussels,  121. 

Museum  Naples,  See  Naples  Museum. 

Names  of  Capri  various,  6. 

Naples  Museum,  147,  156,  163,  166,  169,  222,  223,  230. 

Narcissus,  293. 

Neolitithc  age   34  (note). 

Nelson,  256. 

"  Nero  antico  ",  118. 

Nicolini,  48. 

Nola,  54,  55,  61,  63. 

Normans,  92,  93. 

Obsidian  implements,  34,  34  (note),  38. 

Odyssey,  17. 

Ohve  oil,  106. 

"  Opus  incertum  ",  109,  110,  111,  206. 

"  Opus  mixtum  ",  111,  112. 

"  Opus  reticulatum,  ",  109,  111,  202,  206,  224,  235. 

"  Opus  testaceum  ",  109,  111  . 

"  Opus  quadratum  ",  109. 

Oppenheim,  30,  33,  34,  35. 

Orchids,  296,  297.     • 

Orico,  263,  264 

Ovid,  18. 

Pagano,  Giuseppe,  218,  311,  313,  314,  315. 

Palazzo  a  Mare,  42,  43,  153—159. 

Palazzo  Inglese,    103,  189—191,  258,  272.  288. 

"   Palombino  ",  118,  196. 

Pallium,  54. 

340  THE   BOOK   OF   CAPRI 

Parate,  38. 

Parian  marble,  115,  116. 

Parona ,  30. 

Parrino,  Antonio,  216,  285. 

Pastena,  32,  36. 

Pavements,  112,  113,  143,  144,  145,  156,  162,  166,  167,  169, 

170,  194,  195,  196,  201,  205,  230. 
Pentelic  marble,  115,  116,  117. 
Pellegrini,  Bishop,  251. 
Pellicia,  A.  A.,  26,  29,  132. 
"  Peperino  ",  109. 
Peristyle,  143,  144. 
Petra,  Dionisio,  247. 
Philo,  24. 

Phlegrean  regions,  37. 
Phoenicians,  38. 
Piatz,  35. 

Pietro  di  Toledo,  101. 
Plague,  101,  102. 

Pliny,  Elder,  18,  67,  112,  116,  158. 
Pliny,  Younger,  20. 
Plutarch,  20. 

Poliorama  Pittoresco,  216,  219. 
Pomponius  Mela,  18. 
Pontifex  Maximus,  86. 
Ponza,  1,  255,  260,  267. 
Population.  4.  • 

Portland  vase,  230. 
"  Porta  santa  ",  119,  156,  252. 
Pozzo,  193,  194,  195. 
Pozzuoli,  1,  39,  149,  227. 
"  Pozzolana  ",  31,  37. 
Priveleges,  See  Decrees* 
Propertius,  158. 

INDEX  341 

Propyleum,  175. 

Ptolemy,  25. 

Puggard,  36. 

Pullen,  Revd.  H.  W.,  116-120. 

Punta  Carena,  1,  31.  41.  42. 

—  Gradelle,  264. 

—  Tragara,  42,  43,  161,  162,  164,  177.  261,  263. 

—  Tuora,  1. 

—  Ventrosa,  31.  42. 
Puteals,  146.  147,  155. 
Puteoli,  53. 

Quail  netting.  285—289. 

—  shooting,  103,  285—289. 
Quattromani,  219. 

Rainfall,  13,  14. 

Rezzonico   Count  29.  151.  178,  216,  222. 

Renato  of  Anjou,  96. 

Reservoirs,  3,  171,  178.  200.  202. 

Review,  military,  103. 

Rhodes,  61,  62,  81. 

Richter,  Jean  Pahl,  2. 

Roane,  Dr.  James,  132—134.  225,  226. 

Robert  the  Wise,  94. 

Roger  of  Hautville,  92. 

Roger  XII,  92,  93. 

Romanelli.  151,  166,  173,  178,  197,  203,  205,  237. 

Roman  roads,  171,  172,  173,  174,  177. 


"  Rosso  antico  ",  118,  145,  162,  166,  170,  173,  230,  247. 

Ruffo,  Marquis,  44,  45,  48. 

Salerno.  261.  264. 

Salto,  23.  142. 

Saracens,  90,  92,  93,  195,  199,  233. 

Sarcophagus,  89,  132—134. 

342  THE   BOOK    OF   CAPRI 

Savino,  90. 

Schaefer,  Adele,  319—322 

Schultze,  Dr..  26. 

Schoener,  Dr.  154,  202,  206,  208,  209,  211,  212,  213,  214, 

215,  224,  235,  245,  246,  282. 
Scirocco  (wind),  12. 
Scoglio  della  Sirena,  182. 
—      della  Ricotta,  41. 
Sea-beaches,  32. 
Sea-level,  42,  44,  64. 

Secondo,  147,  151,  157,  178,  202,  216,  222. 
Sejanus,  19,  20,  23,  24,  63,  69,  78,  79,  83,  141. 
"  Sellarie  ",  178,  179. 
Semaphore  hill,  2. 
Seneca,  18,  151. 
Serafino  di  Dio,  251,  253. 
Serapis,  temple  of,  39. 
Servius,  Duke  of  Naples,  91. 
"  Serravezza  ",  119,  145,  156,  162.  247,  252. 
Shells,  36. 

Sicilian  Vespers,  93. 
Sicily,  93,  94,  256,  258,  270,  271. 
Sidonius,  19. 
Sievers,  85. 
Silius  Italicus,  19. 
Sirens,  18. 

Sismondi,  93,  94,  95. 
"  Sloth,  island  of  ",  161,  183. 
Smith,  A.  H.  127,  155. 
Smith,  Sir  Sydney,  257. 
Snow,  13. 

Soccorso,  S.  Maria,  144,  258. 
Solaro,  Monte,  1,  2,  11,  13,  36,  43,  141,  265,  268, 
Solinus,  25. 

INDEX  343 

Solyman  the  Magnificent,  98,  100. 

Sopra-Fontana,  26,  201,  202,  203. 

"  Sorgente  ",  2. 

Sorrento,  1,  18.  24,  89. 

"  Spintrie  ",  178,  179. 

Stahr,  Adop,  79,  80,  85. 

Stamer,  169,  189. 

Starke,  Marianna,  219. 

Statius,  19,  24,  150,  151. 

Statues,  143,  145,  152,  155,  159,  201,  202. 

Stefano,  S.  Church.,  162,  247,  248. 

Steinman,  30,  35. 

Storms,  12. 

Stephanus  of  Byzantium,  27. 

Strabo,  18. 

Strongoli  PignateUi,  Prince,  261. 

Suetonius,  21,  22,  23.  24,  50,  52,  54,  55,64,  65,66,  67,  69, 

70,  72,  80,  82,  84,  85,  140,  141,  151,  178,  179,  183.  184. 
Susino,  Capt.,  263. 
Symonds,  John  A.,  92. 
Tacitus,    20,  21,  52,  53,  63,  64,  67,  68,  69,  70,  71,  80,  81, 

82,  83.  84,  85.  87. 
Tancred,  92. 
Tarver,  57,  80,  83,  84. 
Teleboans,  18,  19,  21. 
Telegrafo,  36. 
Telegraph  hill,  2. 
Teion,  18,  19. 

Temple,  San  Michele,  See  San  Michele. 
Temperature,  14,  15.  * 

Teresa,  S.  Convent,  251,  252. 
Thomas,  Adjutant,  261,  264,  271. 
Thorold,  Sir  Nathaniel,  189,  190. 
Thrasyllus,  22,  68. 

344  THE   BOOK   OF  CAPRI 

Tiberius,  19,  20,  25,  51,  52,  53,  59-88,  89,  140,  141,  143, 

146,  149,  178. 
Tiberio,  See  Villa  Jovis. 
Titonio  period,  33. 
Toga,  54. 

"  Tofchino  venato  ",  166. 
Townley  collection,  155. 
Tragara,  Palace,  161,  162. 
Tragara,  port,  43,  44,  180,  199,  200. 
Tragara  punta.  See  Punta  Tragara. 
Tramontana  (wfnd),  12. 
Trani,  93. 
Travertine,  109. 
Triclinium,  144. 
Truglio,  3,  201. 
Tursini,  Prof.,  3. 
Unghia  Marina,  42. 

-  —      Palace,  163,  164. 
Upatos,  222. 

Urgonian  period,  35,  36. 

Valentino,  169,  170,  179. 

Vase,  marble,  166,  196. 

Ventotene,  1. 

"  Verde  antico  ",  120,  246,  252. 

Vespasian  coin,  132. 

Vesta,  bust  of,  197. 

—  Temple  of,  197. 
Veterino,  193,   194,  195. 
Vesuvius,  20,  30,  37. 
Victor,  Sextus  Aurelius,  25. 
Vines,  106,  107. 
Vipsania,  78. 

Villa  Jovis,  2,  23,  103,  139—147,  149,  249,  252,  281,  282. 
Virgil,  18. 

INDEX  345 

Violets,  294,  295. 

Vitellius,  24. 

Vitruvius,  110,  112. 

Voltaire,  84,  85. 

Water  supply,  2. 

Walters,  Allan,  228. 

Walther,  30,  35,  36. 

Weichardt,  49.  51  ,  52 ,  124,  140,  142,  143,  144,  145,  154, 

159,  161,  162,  165,  172,  174,  175,  181,  186,  208,  210, 

222,  224,  226,  227,  231, 
White,  A.  Silva,  9—16. 
Winds,  12. 

Wine,  production  of,  6,  7. 
Winery,  7. 

Wolffsohn,  Mss,  311—318. 
Wreford,  191. 
Wundergrotto,  277—281. 

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High  class  Confectionery 
Afternoon  Tea  &  Refreshments. 

6UTTE1^It)eE  5  Co. 

o      o      o      o      I^APbES      o      o      o      o 
— =  Via  Roma,  189  to  193   = 

5?eta)l  and  ^^)f)oleSale  PraperS 

"Woolens,   Cotton  goods,   PreSS  St(s§s, 

^h^(Dh,   y(oS)ery  etc. 

Old  bleacf)  Cmbroidery  Linens 

Scotcl)  8{  3r)S})  Linen  PamaS^ 

Tableclotf)S  8^  J^apHinS  =  f  >^^^^  Qeylon  Tea 

Numerous  medals  awarded 

First  Class  Stioemaker 

Boots  &  shoes  for  ladies ,   gents  &  children  —  First   class 
goods  kept  in  stock  or  made  to  order  —  French  and  American  styles. 

Fancy  Work  Shop 


Naples  -  70,  Piazza  dei  Martiri,  70  -  NAPLES 

Complete  assortment  of  materials 

All  kinds  of  silks,  wools  and  cottons 

Fancy  work  designed,  begun,  finished  &  taught 

at  most  reasonable  prices 

-^  <^ -^ -^  ^  <^  «^  <^ -S^  ^> -^ -^^  <^  <^ -^ -^ -^  <^  <4^  <#* 

Olimpia  Cecere  &l  Co. 

Dress  materials  &  costumes  made  to  order 

Select  Parisian  models 

Special  line  of  latest  novelties 

Au  Chevreau 

Grlove    ^vCaniafact-Lirer    <&  JPerfuraer 

Oreste  T^usso 

]X^o.;plo® « Via  Chiaia  62  &  53  -  ]X^a-;pl^si 

Kid,  Chamois  leather  Gloves  &  mittens. 

Gloves  made  to  order 

Newest  style  —  Variety  of  colours  —  Toilette  requisites 

-^ -^  <^  ^ -^ -^  <^ -^ -^^  <^ -^ -^ -#>  ^ -^^ -^ -^^ -0>  ^ -^ 


JVo.:plesi  -  Strada  di  Chiaia,  180-187  -  ^^Vajiles 

Corsets  and  silk  petticoats  kept  in  stock  and  made  to  order 

Latest  fashions  —  Parisian  style 

/vioderate  prices  —  6ngt)sb  84  f  rencb  spoken 

Best,  Purest  and  Most  Delicious  Chocolates 

O.  E.  GAY  §  (p. 


Via  Roma  281  -  Via  Chiaia  236 

Frinoipal  Factory  at  Turin 


(Open  day  and  night) 

i«A.\rE>iv  «&  Oo. 

263-264,  Via  Roma— NAPLES 


S^rada    d)    Q^iaia,    (under  the  bridge) 

/Naples  > 

Importers  of  all  sorts  of  Alimentary  goods 

Groceries  etc. 

General  agents 

The  International  Hospital  -  Naples 

Via  Tasso,  Corso  Vittorio  Emanuele 

This  useful  institution  founded  in  1877  under  the  super- 
vision of  a  local  Committee,  is  situated  in  a  healthy 
position  with  a  fine  garden,  and  has  rooms  set  apart  for 
private  patients  where  they  can  receive  every  care  and 
attention,  including  the  servic^es  of  a  trained  English  nurse. 

The  hospital  has  been  instituted  and  is  st'll  maintained 
for  the  benefit  of  visitors  of  different  nationalities ,  and 
is  almost  entirely  dependant  for  its  income  upon  the  con- 
tributions from  visitors  and  foreign  residents,  the  fees  of 
patients,  and  collections  from  vessels. 

During  its  existence  10912  patients  have  been  assisted 
by  the  hospital,  of  whom,  3L43  were  British  or  American 

The  hospital  is  of  inestimable  benefit  to  British  and 
American  Sailors  who  find  English  speaking  Doctor,  Matron 
and  Nurses  with  the  care  and  comfort  of  home. 

The  Committee  earnestly  appeal  for  subscriptions  and 
donations,  which  will  be  gratefully  received  by  the  mem- 
bers of  the  Committee  and  by: 

Messrs   Ho±7ncxG>   Sc   0»   (Via  Flavio  Oioia  N.  3) 
Dr.   O^rl   ^oo-ttl  [Resident  Physician) 

COMMITTEE    1906 

HONORARY  PRESIDENT:  Prof.  O.  v.  Schroen. 
PRESIDENT:  R.  Neville  Rolfe,  British  Cons.Een. 
VICE  PRESIDENT:  Prof.  Paul  Mayer. 
TREASURER:  M.  S.  Embleton. 
HON.  SECRETARY:  E.  Brnnner. 
A.  Berner  Sen.'-—  Sydney  E  Cruse— 
M.  Grutteridge  -G.  Krebs,  Cons.  Gen. 

of  Austria-Hungary  —  "L.  A.  de  Lalande 
Cons.  Gen.  of  France— F.  S.  Meuricv^ffre 
Cons.  Gen,  of  Svizzerland  M.  Meissner— ' 
A.  Oulmann  —  R.  Wenner. 
AUDITORS:  F.  K.  Williamson- F.  Meu- 
ricolffre  —  Hoase-Surgeou:  Prof.  C.  Scotti 
Matron:  Miss.  M  Lohmann. 




Opposite  the  American  Express  Co.  and  100  yards  from  Cooics 

An  inspector  is  on  duty  in  Capri  at  intervals  for  a 
few  weeks  at  a  time.  Through  his  intervention  the 
trapping  of  small  birds  has  been  checked  to  a  large 
extent,  the  furious  driving  of  cabs  and  overloading  of 
carts  greatly  dimiuished,  and  the  use  of  iron  instru- 
ments of  torture  on  horses  euitreiy  suppressed. 

The  Society  has  held  four  Horse  and  Donkey  Para- 
des in  Capri;  at  which  prizes  amouting  to  376  lire 
were  distributed  in  cash  to  the  drivers  of  the  best 
kept  animals. 

It  is  proposed  to  plant  shady  trees  on  the  cab-stands, 
where  the  horses  suffer  greatly  in  summer  from  the 
intense  heat  of  the  sun. 


Contributions  will  be  gratefully  received  by  the 
Hon.  Secretary  in  Capri:  — 

Harold    E.    Trower,   British  Consular   Agent, 
or  by  the  Treasurer  in  Capri:  — 

Dr.  George  Cerio 



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